The PhilPapers SurveysOriginal Survey Questions (Back to contents)

The Survey questions

The order of the questions and answer options was randomized each time they were presented to respondents. The questions were:
  1. A priori knowledge: yes or no?
  2. Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?
  3. Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?
  4. Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?
  5. Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?
  6. External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?
  7. Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?
  8. God: theism or atheism?
  9. Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?
  10. Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?
  11. Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?
  12. Logic: classical or non-classical?
  13. Mental content: internalism or externalism?
  14. Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?
  15. Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?
  16. Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?
  17. Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?
  18. Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?
  19. Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?
  20. Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?
  21. Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?
  22. Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?
  23. Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?
  24. Proper names: Fregean or Millian?
  25. Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?
  26. Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?
  27. Time: A-theory or B-theory?
  28. Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch or don't switch?
  29. Truth: correspondence, deflationary, or epistemic?
  30. Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?

The answer options

Respondents could "Accept" or "Lean toward" any of the options mentioned in the question. They could also choose one of multiple other responses. These additional possible responses were as follows (with minor variations for non-binary questions):
  1. Accept both
  2. Reject both
  3. Accept an intermediate view
  4. Accept another alternative
  5. The question is too unclear to answer
  6. There is no fact of the matter
  7. Insufficiently familiar with the issue
  8. Agnostic/undecided
  9. Other
  10. Skip
A "Skip" answer was given by skipping the question instead of picking an answer in the answer form. An approximate rendering of the original graphical interface can be seen in the PDF version of the Survey. Answer options were randomized wherever they appeared.

Metasurvey questions

In the Metasurvey, respondents had to estimate what percentages of respondents in the primary target population would either accept or lean toward any of the main positions mentioned in the Survey. For the question on a priori knowledge, for example (question #1 above), respondents had to assign percentages to the following three sets of responses:
  • Accept: yes, Lean toward: yes
  • Accept: no, Lean toward: no
  • Accept both, Reject both, Accept an intermediate view, Accept another alternative, The question is too unclear to answer, There is no fact of the matter, Insufficiently familiar with the issue, Agnostic/undecided, Other, Skip
Respondents therefore had to specify three percentages for this question.

An approximate rendering of the original graphical interface can be seen in the PDF version of the Metasurvey. Answer options were randomized wherever they appeared.

Background questions

The philosophers available to choose from for the "which philosophers do you identify with?" question were:


Other philosophers could be selected by entering their names manually.

The listed philosophers were largely based on Brian Leiter's polls concerning the "most important" philosophers in various historical eras. We included the top 21 from the all-time list (down to Berkeley) and the remainder of the top 17 from the last-200-years list (down to Husserl and Heidegger). Because the resulting list was all-male, we added Anscombe (the highest-ranked woman on the last-200-years list).

Regarding the question on philosophical tradition, the two options available by default were "analytic" and "continental". Respondents could enter other traditions manually. See the demographics page for results.

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