Experimental philosophy and the philosophical tradition

Stephen Stich, Kevin P. Tobia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

26 Scopus citations


Many experimental philosophers are philosophers by training and professional affiliation, but some best work in experimental philosophy has been done by people who do not have advanced degrees in philosophy and do not teach in philosophy departments. This chapter explains that the experimental philosophy is the empirical investigation of philosophical intuitions, the factors that affect them, and the psychological and neurological mechanisms that underlie them. It explores what are philosophical intuitions, and why do experimental philosophers want to study them using the methods of empirical science. The positive program in experimental philosophy shares the goal of the substantial part of traditional philosophy that is concerned with the analysis of important philosophical concepts. The negative program has implications for philosophical projects whose goal is conceptual analysis. There have been a number of responses to the challenge posed by experimental philosophy’s negative program. The chapter also focuses on the expertise defense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Experimental Philosophy
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781118661666
ISBN (Print)9781118661703
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Experimental philosophy
  • Expertise defense
  • Neurological mechanism
  • Philosophical intuition
  • Philosophical tradition
  • Psychological mechanism


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