Experimental philosophy and the fruitfulness of normative concepts

Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2129-2152 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper provides a new argument for the relevance of empirical research to moral and political philosophy and a novel defense of the positive program in experimental philosophy. The argument centers on the idea that normative concepts used in moral and political philosophy can be evaluated in terms of their fruitfulness in solving practical problems. Empirical research conducted with an eye to the practical problems that are relevant to particular concepts can provide evidence of their fruitfulness along a number of dimensions. An upshot of the argument is that philosophers should not only engage with but must also be involved in conducting experimental studies that examine the practical roles that normative concepts can play. Rather than just clearing the way for philosophical work to be done, the argument has the further implication that empirical research will be required to advance at least some important debates in moral and political philosophy.

Similar books and articles

Experimental or Empirical Political Philosophy.Nicole Hassoun - 2016 - In Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Malden, MA: Blackwell. pp. 234–246.
From X-phi to Bioxphi: Lessons in Conceptual Analysis 2.0.Jonathan Lewis - 2020 - AJOB Empirical Bioethics 11 (1):34-36.
Experimental Philosophy and the Philosophical Tradition.Stephen Stich & Kevin P. Tobia - 2016 - In Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Malden, MA: Blackwell. pp. 3–21.
Experiments in moral and political philosophy.Hugo Viciana, Antonio Gaitán & Fernando Aguiar González (eds.) - 2024 - New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
On the Relationship between Normative Claims and Empirical Realities in Immigration.Joseph H. Carens - 2019 - Proceedings of the 2018 ZiF Workshop “Studying Migration Policies at the Interface Between Empirical Research and Normative Analysisandquot;.
Knowing Our Own Concepts: The Role of Intuitions in Philosophy.Péter Hartl - 2011 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 18 (4):488-498.
Are we Living an Illusion? Folk Intuitions on the Problem of Free Will.Silvia Felletti - 2015 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 6 (1):161-175.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-04-29

Downloads
401 (#54,098)

6 months
31 (#125,359)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Matthew Lindauer
Brooklyn College (CUNY)

References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Logical foundations of probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago]: Chicago University of Chicago Press.

View all 84 references / Add more references