Symposium on Fischer et. al. ‘Experimental Ordinary Language Philosophy’

In ‘Experimental ordinary language philosophy: a cross-linguistic investigation of default inferences’, (Synthese, 2019) Eugen Fischer, Paul Engelhard, Joachim Horvath and Hiroshi Ohtani seek to take experimental philosophy beyond the study of intuitions and highlight links to one of its historical precursors. They show how experimental methods and findings from psycholinguistics …

The Substantiality of Philosophical Analysis

The story so far: Concepts of philosophical categories such as knowledge or justice, are, or gain their cognitive significance from, explanatory theories of the relevant domain (involving epistemic explanation in the case of knowledge and moral explanation in the case of justice). Thanks to the way that concepts semantically hook …

The Reliability of Case Judgments

If the “theory-theory“ of concepts sketched in the previous post is correct, then we begin the philosophical analysis of a category such as knowledge equipped with nothing more than some rudimentary beliefs about the place of knowledge in the explanatory order. These beliefs may paint a rather partial or even …

The Philosopher in the Armchair

A philosopher goes into the armchair and brings back knowledge. What world have they been exploring? What is this knowledge of, and how did they find it? These are questions that philosophy, the most methodologically self-conscious of all the disciplines, can’t help but ask itself over and over again. They …

Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds: Conceptual Analysis and Conceptual Engineering

In the previous post, I defended a restricted form of modal skepticism and I concluded that many traditional philosophical issues could not be resolved and should be set aside. One may wonder what is left for philosophers to do: Am I suggesting to close philosophy departments? Fear not, dear reader, …

Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds: Modal Skepticism

In the previous post I presented the main arguments against the method of cases developed in Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds. Various objections can be raised against this argument, some of which have already been put in print. Chapter 5 addresses 8 objections: I defend the experimental quality of the research …

Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds: Unreliability, Dogmatism, and Parochialism

In the previous post, I argued for a minimalist characterization of the method of cases, which I share with some of the most well-known critics of experimental philosophy. In this post, I want to present the two arguments against the method of cases, developed in Chapter 3 and 4 of …

Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds: The Method of Cases

In the previous post, I introduced the method of cases: To find out whether modal claims are true, philosophers describe actual and possible situations and assess what facts hold in these situations. For instance, following Gettier’s classic paper, to determine whether, necessarily, someone knows that pif and only if she …

Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds: The Overall Argument

Does responsibility require the possibility to have done otherwise? Does knowledge require safety? Can causation be reduced to some form of counterfactual dependency? Could a material duplicate fail to be a psychological duplicate? To answer these and similar questions, one must gain knowledge about metaphysical possibilities and necessities. One must …

Symposium on Pendaran Roberts, Keith Allen, and Kelly-Ann Schmidtke’s “Folk Intuitions about the Causal Theory of Perception”

Welcome to our fourth Ergo symposium, featuring Pendaran Roberts (University of Warwick), Keith Allen (University of York), and Kelly-Ann Schmidtke’s (University of Warwick) “Folk Intuitions about the Causal Theory of Perception” with commentaries by Eugen Fischer (University of East Anglia) and John Schwenkler (Florida State University). I’d like to thank …

The Geography of Philosophy

Edouard Machery (University of Pittsburgh, History and Philosophy of Science), Clark Barrett (UCLA, anthropology), and Stephen Stich (Rutgers University, Philosophy) are delighted to announce that the John Templeton Foundation has awarded them a 3-year (2018-21), $2.6 million grant for a project entitled “The Geography of Philosophy: An Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Exploration …

Experimental Philosophy Meets Developmental Psychology

Of all the many topics explored by experimental philosophers, the one that has received perhaps the most attention in the meta-philosophical literature is the issue of demographic effects. Work on this topic asks whether people’s intuitions about philosophical questions differ across demographic variables such as culture, gender and age. As many of you will …