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Experimental Philosophy and Philosophical Disputes

Sytsma, Justin and Livengood, Jonathan (2011) Experimental Philosophy and Philosophical Disputes. [Preprint]

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    One view of philosophy that is sometimes expressed, especially by scientists, is that while philosophers are good at asking questions, they are poor at producing convincing answers. And the perceived divide between philosophical and scientific methods is often pointed to as the major culprit behind this lack of progress. Looking back at the history of philosophy, however, we find that this methodological divide is a relatively recent invention. Further, it is one that has been challenged over the past decade by the modern incarnation of experimental philosophy. How might the reincorporation of empirical methods into philosophy aid the process of making philosophical progress? Building off of the work of Sytsma (2010), we argue that one way it does so is by offering a means of resolving some disputes that arise in philosophy. We illustrate how philosophical disputes may sometimes be resolved empirically by looking at the recent experimental literature on intuitions about reference.

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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: To appear in a special issue of Essays in Philosophy on philosophical methodology.
    Keywords: Experimental Philosophy, Philosophical Methodology, Philosophical Disputes
    Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
    Depositing User: Justin Sytsma
    Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2011 11:30
    Last Modified: 01 Dec 2011 11:30
    Item ID: 8922

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