Replies to Kornblith, Jackson and Moore

Analysis 69 (1):125-135 (2009)
My agreement with Hilary Kornblith goes deeper than any remaining disagreement. We agree that armchair methods have a legitimate place in philosophy, for instance in logic. We agree that appeals to experimental data also have a legitimate place in philosophy, for instance in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of time, and that those branches study mind and time themselves, not just our concepts of them. We agree that the proper balance between armchair and other methods cannot be fully determined in advance, but should to some extent emerge from the future development of the discipline. Nevertheless, as Kornblith says, we are not placing quite the same bets on what that balance will be. I expect armchair methods to play legitimately a more dominant role in future philosophy than he expects them to – of course, such differences in emphasis can result in widening divergence in practice.The Philosophy of Philosophy welcomes a significant degree of methodological diversity short of ‘Anything goes’, for often the best long-run way to evaluate a philosophical method is for many able philosophers to use it for many years . That includes methods that make heavy use of experimental data. The book is not an attack on experimental philosophy, in which I have even dabbled myself . I could hardly object to Kornblith's suggestion that experimental psychology should contribute to epistemology, since in discussing the epistemology of logic I appeal to experimental data from the psychology of reasoning . Indeed, it would be a grave failure of philosophy in its current state of development if it neglected to explore the philosophical applications of experimental data far more extensively than has hitherto been done. It is work that needs doing and surely will be done, although I do not expect to ….
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DOI 10.1093/analys/ann041
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Herman Cappelen (2013). Nonsense and Illusions of Thought. Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):22-50.

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