Armchairs versus Lab Coats?
This chapter distinguishes “armchair” methods from “a priori” methods but argues that xphi poses no threat to either sort. It also objects to a certain caricature of the difference between traditional analytic philosophers and experimental philosophers. The latter are supposed to be the truly pro-science bunch, but this is an inaccurate picture since analytic philosophy has paid homage to the sciences at least since the rise of positivism and arguably for much, much longer. The chapter also identifies a genuine, constructive, and important role for xphi within philosophy, suggesting that experimental philosophers drop their pretensions to be saying things, either positive or negative, about the evidence for philosophical theory and instead focus their energies in describing the ways in which spontaneous judgments can affect human behavior. This is described as an admirable, “broadly ethical” aim for experimental philosophers to pursue.
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