Experimental philosophy is one of the most exciting and controversial philosophical movements today. This book explores how it is reshaping thought about philosophical method. Experimental philosophy imports experimental methods and findings from psychology into philosophy. These fresh resources can be used to develop and defend both armchair methods and naturalist approaches, on an empirical basis. This outstanding collection brings together leading proponents of this new meta-philosophical naturalism, from within and beyond experimental philosophy. They explore how the empirical study of philosophically relevant intuition and cognition transforms traditional philosophical approaches and facilitates fresh ones.
Part One examines important uses of traditional "armchair" methods which are not threatened by experimental work and develops empirically informed accounts of such methods that can potentially stand up to experimental scrutiny. Part Two analyses different uses and rationales of experimental methods in several areas of philosophy and addresses the key methodological challenges to experimental philosophy: Do its experiments target the intuitions that matter in philosophy? And how can they support conclusions about the rights and wrongs of philosophical views?
Essential reading for students of experimental philosophy and metaphilosophy, Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism will also interest students and researchers in related areas such as epistemology and the philosophies of language, perception, mind and action, science and psychology.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Rationalism and Naturalism in the Age of Experimental Philosophy – An Introduction Eugen Fischer and John Collins The Volume: Synopsis Eugen Fischer and John Collins Part 1: The Armchair and Naturalism 1. The Nature of A Priori Intuitions: Analytic or Synthetic? David Papineau 2. Understanding the Question: Philosophy and its History Tim Crane 3. Two Kinds of Naturalism John Collins 4. Philosophical Insights and Modal Cognition Mikkel Gerken 5. Thought Experiments, Concepts, and Conceptions Daniele Sgaravatti 6. Against Naturalistic Defences of Intuition Hilary Kornblith Part 2: Varieties of Experimental Philosophy 7. Humans as Instruments: Or, the Inevitability of Experimental Philosophy Jonathan M. Weinberg 8. The Illusion of Expertise Edouard Machery 9. Intuition, Philosophical Theorising, and the Threat of Scepticism Jennifer Nado 10. Experimental Philosophy and Naturalism Bence Nanay 11. Experimental Philosophical Semantics and the Real Reference of 'Gödel' Amir Horowitz 12. Intuitions and Illusions: From Explanation and Experiment to Assessment Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt and Aurelie Herbelot. Index
'Just when it seemed like the metaphilosophical controversies about experimental philosophy were about to die down, this timely and valuable volume reminds us that many of the crucial questions are still unresolved.' - Joachim Horvath, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
'A varied and balanced set of contributions on issues of central interest and importance. Sooner or later any philosopher is likely to face issues of philosophical method, and the essays gathered here would be very helpful in addressing them.' - Ernest Sosa, Rutgers University, USA
'Experimental philosophy has reinvigorated debates about the nature of intuitions and their role in philosophical inquiry, in particular, and about the relation between philosophy and empirical science, more generally. This excellent collection is essential reading for professional philosophers and graduate students who are interested in these issues.' - Matthew Haug, The College of William & Mary, USA
'A timely and original collection. Anyone interested in how philosophy can and should be done will want to read this book.' - John Turri, University of Waterloo, Canada
'This terrific book includes work from leading philosophers who represent a variety of methodological and metaphilosophical perspectives. It brings into conversation philosophers interested in the longstanding methodological debate between rationalists and naturalists with philosophers interested in the methodological implications of recent work in experimental philosophy. A must read for anyone interested in understanding the methodological implications of recent work in experimental philosophy!' - Joshua Alexander, Siena College, USA