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Joshua Alexander
Siena College
  1. The Instability of Philosophical Intuitions: Running Hot and Cold on Truetemp.Stacey Swain, Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):138-155.
    A growing body of empirical literature challenges philosophers’ reliance on intuitions as evidence based on the fact that intuitions vary according to factors such as cultural and educational background, and socio-economic status. Our research extends this challenge, investigating Lehrer’s appeal to the Truetemp Case as evidence against reliabilism. We found that intuitions in response to this case vary according to whether, and which, other thought experiments are considered first. Our results show that compared to subjects who receive the Truetemp Case (...)
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  2. Are Philosophers Expert Intuiters?Jonathan M. Weinberg, Chad Gonnerman, Cameron Buckner & Joshua Alexander - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):331-355.
    Recent experimental philosophy arguments have raised trouble for philosophers' reliance on armchair intuitions. One popular line of response has been the expertise defense: philosophers are highly-trained experts, whereas the subjects in the experimental philosophy studies have generally been ordinary undergraduates, and so there's no reason to think philosophers will make the same mistakes. But this deploys a substantive empirical claim, that philosophers' training indeed inculcates sufficient protection from such mistakes. We canvass the psychological literature on expertise, which indicates that people (...)
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  3.  74
    Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction.Joshua Alexander - 2012 - Polity.
    Experimental philosophy uses experimental research methods from psychology and cognitive science in order to investigate both philosophical and metaphilosophical questions. It explores philosophical questions about the nature of the psychological world - the very structure or meaning of our concepts of things, and about the nature of the non-psychological world - the things themselves. It also explores metaphilosophical questions about the nature of philosophical inquiry and its proper methodology. This book provides a detailed and provocative introduction to this innovative field, (...)
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  4. Analytic Epistemology and Experimental Philosophy.Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):56–80.
    It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims. In part as a response to this practice, an exciting new movement—experimental philosophy—has recently emerged. This movement is unified behind both a common methodology and a common aim: the application of methods of experimental psychology to the study of the nature of intuitions. In this paper, we will introduce two different views concerning the relationship that (...)
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  5. Putting the Trolley in Order: Experimental Philosophy and the Loop Case.S. Matthew Liao, Alex Wiegmann, Joshua Alexander & Gerard Vong - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):661-671.
    In recent years, a number of philosophers have conducted empirical studies that survey people's intuitions about various subject matters in philosophy. Some have found that intuitions vary accordingly to seemingly irrelevant facts: facts about who is considering the hypothetical case, the presence or absence of certain kinds of content, or the context in which the hypothetical case is being considered. Our research applies this experimental philosophical methodology to Judith Jarvis Thomson's famous Loop Case, which she used to call into question (...)
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  6. Accentuate the Negative.Joshua Alexander, Ronald Mallon & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):297-314.
    Our interest in this paper is to drive a wedge of contention between two different programs that fall under the umbrella of “experimental philosophy”. In particular, we argue that experimental philosophy’s “negative program” presents almost as significant a challenge to its “positive program” as it does to more traditional analytic philosophy.
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  7. Salience and Epistemic Egocentrism: An Empirical Study.Joshua Alexander, Chad Gonnerman & John Waterman - 2014 - In James Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology. Continuum. pp. 97-117.
    Jennifer Nagel (2010) has recently proposed a fascinating account of the decreased tendency to attribute knowledge in conversational contexts in which unrealized possibilities of error have been mentioned. Her account appeals to epistemic egocentrism, or what is sometimes called the curse of knowledge, an egocentric bias to attribute our own mental states to other people (and sometimes our own future and past selves). Our aim in this paper is to investigate the empirical merits of Nagel’s hypothesis about the psychology involved (...)
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  8. Restrictionism and Reflection: Challenge Deflected, or Simply Redirected?Jonathan M. Weinberg, Joshua Alexander, Chad Gonnerman & Shane Reuter - 2012 - The Monist 95 (2):200-222.
    It has become increasingly popular to respond to experimental philosophy by suggesting that experimental philosophers haven’t been studying the right kind of thing. One version of this kind of response, which we call the reflection defense, involves suggesting both that philosophers are interested only in intuitions that are the product of careful reflection on the details of hypothetical cases and the key concepts involved in those cases, and that these kinds of philosophical intuitions haven’t yet been adequately studied by experimental (...)
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  9.  40
    Salient Alternatives in Perspective.Mikkel Gerken, Chad Gonnerman, Joshua Alexander & John P. Waterman - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):792-810.
    This paper empirically investigates how perspective bears on putative salient alternative effects on knowledge ascriptions. Some theoretical accounts predict salient alternative effects in both fir...
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  10. Accentuate the Negative.Joshua Alexander, Ronald Mallon & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2013 - In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy: Volume 2. Oxford University Press USA.
    There are two ways of understanding experimental philosophy's process of appealing to intuitions as evidence for or against philosophical claims: the positive and negative programs. This chapter deals with how the positivist method of conceptual analysis is affected by the results of the negative program. It begins by describing direct extramentalism, semantic mentalism, conceptual mentalism, and mechanist mentalism, all of which argue that intuitions are credible sources of evidence and will therefore be shared. The negative program challenges this view by (...)
     
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  11. Is Experimental Philosophy Philosophically Significant?Joshua Alexander - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):377-389.
    Experimental philosophy has emerged as a very specific kind of response to an equally specific way of thinking about philosophy, one typically associated with philosophical analysis and according to which philosophical claims are measured, at least in part, by our intuitions. Since experimental philosophy has emerged as a response to this way of thinking about philosophy, its philosophical significance depends, in no small part, on how significant the practice of appealing to intuitions is to philosophy. In this paper, I defend (...)
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  12. The Challenge of Sticking with Intuitions Through Thick and Thin.Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2014 - In Booth Anthony Robert & P. Rowbottom Darrell (eds.), Intuitions. Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical discussions often involve appeals to verdicts about particular cases, sometimes actual, more often hypothetical, and usually with little or no substantive argument in their defense. Philosophers — on both sides of debates over the standing of this practice — have often called the basis for such appeals ‘intuitions’. But, what might such ‘intuitions’ be, such that they could legitimately serve these purposes? Answers vary, ranging from ‘thin’ conceptions that identify intuitions as merely instances of some fairly generic and epistemologically (...)
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  13.  82
    Framing How We Think About Disagreement.Joshua Alexander, Diana Betz, Chad Gonnerman & John Philip Waterman - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2539-2566.
    Disagreement is a hot topic right now in epistemology, where there is spirited debate between epistemologists who argue that we should be moved by the fact that we disagree and those who argue that we need not. Both sides to this debate often use what is commonly called “the method of cases,” designing hypothetical cases involving peer disagreement and using what we think about those cases as evidence that specific normative theories are true or false, and as reasons for believing (...)
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  14.  43
    You Just Can’T Count on (Un)Reliability.Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2020 - Analysis 80 (4):737-751.
    Edouard Machery argues that many traditional philosophical questions are beyond our capacity to answer. Answering them seems to require using the method of cases, a method that involves testing answers to philosophical questions against what we think about real or imagined cases. The problem, according to Machery, is that this method has proved unreliable ; what we think about these kinds of cases is both problematically heterogeneous and volatile. His bold solution: abandon the method of cases altogether and with it (...)
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  15. Knowledge, Certainty, and Skepticism: A Cross-Cultural Study.John Philip Waterman, Chad Gonnerman, Karen Yan & Joshua Alexander - 2018 - In Stephen Stich, Masaharu Mizumoto & Eric McCready (eds.), Epistemology for the rest of the world. Oxford University Press. pp. 187-214.
    We present several new studies focusing on “salience effects”—the decreased tendency to attribute knowledge to someone when an unrealized possibility of error has been made salient in a given conversational context. These studies suggest a complicated picture of epistemic universalism: there may be structural universals, universal epistemic parameters that influence epistemic intuitions, but that these parameters vary in such a way that epistemic intuitions, in either their strength or propositional content, can display patterns of genuine cross-cultural diversity.
     
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  16. Competence: What's In? What's Out? Who Knows?Joshua Alexander, Ronald Mallon & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):329-330.
    Knobe's argument rests on a way of distinguishing performance errors from the competencies that delimit our cognitive architecture. We argue that other sorts of evidence than those that he appeals to are needed to illuminate the boundaries of our folk capacities in ways that would support his conclusions.
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  17.  51
    Appendix for 'Salient Alternatives in Perspective'.Mikkel Gerken, Joshua Alexander, Chad Gonnerman & John Philip Waterman - manuscript
    This is an appendix containing the stimulus materials for the experiments reported in the paper ‘Salient Alternatives in Perspective.’.
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  18. Philosophical Psychology Would Like to Thank the Following for Contributing to the Journal as Reviewers This Past Year: Fred Adams Kenneth Aizawa.Joshua Alexander, Mark Alicke, Holly Andersen, Michael Anderson, Kristin Andrews, István Aranyosi, Nomy Arpaly, Robert Audi & Andrew R. Bailey - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (1):161-163.
  19. Philosophical Psychology Would Like to Thank Our Reviewers for Their Generous Contributions to the Journal in 2010. Jonathan Adler Kenneth Aizawa.Kathleen Akins, Pignocchi Alessandro, Joshua Alexander, Anna Alexandrova, Keith Allen, Sophie Allen, Colin Allen, Maria Alvarez, Santiago Amaya & Ben Ambridge - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (6):845-848.
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    Marc Lange: Natural Laws in Scientific Practice. [REVIEW]Joshua Alexander - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (2):222-224.
    What is a law of nature? Traditionally, philosophical discussion of this question has been dominated by two prominent alternatives; David Lewis’s best-systems analysis, according to which a law is a regularity that serves as a theorem in our best axiomatization of the facts about the world, and the Dretske-Armstrong-Tooley analysis, which incorporates universals to distinguish laws from mere accidental generalizations. Marc Lange’s first book presents a provocative alternative to this tradition, providing a novel treatment of natural laws that should be (...)
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  21.  47
    "Experimental Philosophy and its Critic," Ed. Joachim Horvath and Thomas Grundmann; "Experimental Philosophy," Volume 2, Ed. Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols; and "Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy," Ed. Edouard Machery and Elizabeth O’Neill. [REVIEW]Joshua Alexander - 2014 - Teaching Philosophy 37 (3):411-414.
  22.  42
    Author Q & A.Joshua Alexander - 2012 - The Philosophers' Magazine 58:125-126.
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    Constitutional Crises: How Understanding Constitutive Elements in Science Can Help Us Better Understand the Nature of Conceptual Change in Science: David J. Stump: Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science. New York and Oxford: Routledge, 2015, 176 Pp, $145 HB.Joshua Alexander - 2016 - Metascience 25 (3):459-463.
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    The Challenges Involved with Going Negative.Joshua Alexander - 2017 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3):465-479.
    One rather common way of doing philosophy involves what is called “the method of cases,” where philosophers design hypothetical cases and use what we think about those cases—our “philosophical intuitions”—as evidence that certain philosophical theories are true or false, and as reasons for believing that those theories are true or false. This way of doing philosophy has been challenged in recent years on the basis of both general epistemological considerations and more specific methodological concerns. These methodological concerns have focused not (...)
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    Author Q & A. [REVIEW]Joshua Alexander - 2012 - The Philosophers' Magazine 58:125-126.
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