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A Companion to Experimental Philosophy

Justin Sytsma (Editor), Wesley Buckwalter (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-66170-3
640 pages
May 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Experimental Philosophy (1118661702) cover image


This is a comprehensive collection of essays that explores cutting-edge work in experimental philosophy, a radical new movement that applies quantitative and empirical methods to traditional topics of philosophical inquiry.

  • Situates the discipline within Western philosophy and then surveys the work of experimental philosophers by sub-discipline
  • Contains insights for a diverse range of fields, including linguistics, cognitive science, anthropology, economics, and psychology, as well as almost every area of professional philosophy today
  • Edited by two rising scholars who take a broad and inclusive approach to the field
  • Offers a complete introduction for non-specialists and students to the central approaches, findings, challenges, and controversies in experimental philosophy
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

1. Introduction

PART I: Experimental Philosophy: Past, Present and Future

2. Experimental Philosophy and the Philosophical Tradition
Stephen Stich and Kevin Tobia

3. Philosophical Criticisms of Experimental Philosophy
Timothy Williamson

4. Experimental Philosophy is Cognitive Science
Joshua Knobe

5. Armchair-friendly Experimental Philosophy
Kaija Mortensen and Jennifer Nagel

6. Going Positive by Going Negative: On Keeping X-Phi Relevant & Dangerous
Jonathan M. Weinberg

7. Early Modern Experimental Philosophy
Peter R. Anstey and Alberto Vanzo

8. Nietzsche and Moral Psychology
Daniel Telech and Brian Leiter

PART II: Areas of Research

Free Will and Philosophy of Action

9. The Folk Concept of Intentional Action: Empirical Approaches
Florian Cova

10. Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will and Moral Responsibility
Gunnar Björnsson and Derk Pereboom

11. Free Will and Experimental Philosophy
Hoi-yee Chan, Max Deutsch and Shaun Nichols

Moral and Political Philosophy

12. Solving the Trolley Problem
Joshua D. Greene

13. The Adaptive Logic of Moral Luck
Justin W. Martin and Fiery Cushman

14. Metaethics: Traditional and Empirical Approaches
Alexandra Plakias

15. Aspects of Folk Morality: Objectivism and Relativism
Hagop Sarkissian

16. The Behavior of Ethicists
Eric Schwitzgebel and Joshua Rust

17. Experimental or Empirical Political Philosophy
Nicole Hassoun

18. Ownership Rights
Shaylene E. Nancekivell, J. Charles Millar, Pauline C. Summers and Ori Friedman

Philosophy of Mind

19. Attributions of Consciousness
Justin Sytsma

20. A Unified versus Componential View of Understanding Minds
Lily Tsoi

21. The Group Mind in Commonsense Psychology
Bryce Huebner

22. Synesthesia as a Challenge for Representationalism
Berit Brogaard

23. Naturalistic Approaches to Creativity
Dustin Stokes and Elliot Samuel Paul


24. Knowledge Judgments in "Gettier" Cases
John Turri

25. Experiments on Contextualism and Interest Relative Invariantism
Ángel Pinillos

26. Evaluative Effects on Knowledge Attributions
James R. Beebe

Philosophy of Language

27. Reference
Mike Dacey and Ron Mallon

28. Experimental Pragmatics in Linguistics and Philosophy
Mark Phelan

29. Generics and Experimental Philosophy
Adam Lerner and Sarah-Jane Leslie


30. Metaphysics and Cognitive Science
L. A. Paul

31. Experimental Philosophy and Causal Attributions
Jonathan Livengood and David Rose

32. Causal Models and Screening-off
Juhwa Park and Steven A. Sloman

33. Causal Search, Causal Modeling, and the Folk
David Danks

Philosophy of Science

34. Experimental Philosophy of Science
Edouard Machery

35. Explanation
Tania Lombrozo

36. The Concept of Innateness as an Object of Empirical Enquiry
Richard Samuels

Logic and Reasoning

37. Experimental Philosophical Logic
David Ripley

38. Experimental Philosophy meets Formal Epistemology
Jonah N. Schupbach

39. Experimental Approaches to the Study of Conditionals
Igor Douven

Metaphilosophy and Individual Differences

40. Philosophical Expertise
Joshua Alexander

41. Intuitional Stability
Jennifer Cole Wright

42. Personality and Philosophical Bias
Adam Feltz and Edward T. Cokely

43. Experimental Philosophy and the Underrepresentation of Women
Carrie Figdor and Matt L. Drabek


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Author Information

Justin Sytsma is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. As a practitioner of experimental philosophy, he uses empirical methods to conduct his research into the areas of the philosophy of psychology and the philosophy of mind. He is co-author of The Theory and Practice of Experimental Philosophy(2016) and editor of Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind (2014). He has also published in a variety of peer reviewed journals, including Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy of Science, Journal of Consciousness Studies, and Philosophy Compass.

Wesley Buckwalter is Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy and the Philosophical Science Laat the University of Waterloo, Canada. He completed his PhD in Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduat Center, USA. He has published dozens of articles in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science on a wide range of topics including knowledge, belief, assertion, luck, intuition, methodology, functionalism, consciousness, emotion, and fiction.
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"This groundbreaking collection shows how far experimental philosophy has come, how far it can go, how many areas of philosophy it can touch, and how exciting it can be. Everyone who is interested in this movement should read these chapters carefully." Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Duke University
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