Archive for September, 2015


“Measurement and Phenomena in Experimental Philosophy”

September 16, 2015

David Colaço

Abstract: In this talk, I investigate the ways in which experimental philosophy has successfully facilitated the identification of phenomena of interest to philosophical investigation, as well as the ways in which it can be improved.  I make two main arguments: one negative, the other positive.  First, I argue that experimental philosophers must be careful with the kinds of inferences they draw from their results, given the limitations of their techniques.  If experimental philosophers wish to draw legitimate inferences from their empirical data regarding the confirmation or disconfirmation of philosophical theories, they must be develop models of their data and empirical technique.  I present some data to support this negative argument.  Second, I suggest that some paradigmatic experimental philosophy can be characterized as exploratory.  This characterization would reflect both the limits and the values of the research in question.  I focus on the ‘restrictionist challenge’ in epistemology as a case study of exploratory research.