Massimo Marraffa

The empirical study of intuitions or: why philosophy needs science (and especially social psychology)

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Experimental philosophy is a new area of research that involves the collection of empirical data to shed light on philosophical issues. In this paper some examples of experimental philosophy are sketched and two different interpretations of their metaphilosophical import are contrasted. According to a "positive" view, the findings of experimental philosophy are an essential completion of the method that consists in gathering intuitions about possible cases (a standard practice in analytic philosophy). According to a "negative" conception, the data from experimental philosophy undermine the use of intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims.

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