Experimental Philosophy

Joshua Knobe

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195309799
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Experimental Philosophy

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The aim of the article is to review existing work in experimental philosophy. The experimental philosophy seeks to examine the phenomena that have been traditionally associated with philosophy using the methods that have more recently been developed within cognitive science. Conceptual analysis frequently relies on appeals to intuition, but it is rarely made clear precisely whose intuitions are being discussed. The emphasis in cross-cultural work in experimental philosophy has been shifting toward the study of moral judgments, with papers exploring cross-cultural differences in intuitions about consequentialism and moral responsibility. Philosophers have been working on the relationship between moral responsibility and determinism. One of the key points of contention is whether moral responsibility and determinism are compatible or incompatible. Philosophers working within the framework of the analytic project have long engaged in the study of people's intuitions, but their real interest has not typically been in human beings and the way they think. They work to understand the true nature of the properties and relations that people's concepts pick out. Some philosophers believe that the most important and fundamental issues are somehow getting overlooked as researchers turn more and more to empirically informed work in cognitive science.

Keywords: experimental philosophy; cognitive science; analytic project; folk psychology; moral responsibility

Article.  7424 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Science

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