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October 16, 2012, from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Experimental Philosophy: A Multimedia Introduction

Event Information


A multimedia introduction to Experimental Philosophy: Joshua Knobe (Yale University) presents three videos about his work created in collaboration with Ben Coonley (Bard College)

Experimental philosophy is a new field that lies at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. Experimental philosophers aim to make progress on some of the most traditional questions of philosophy, but they do so by going out and running systematic experiments of the sort one more typically finds in psychology departments. The aim of experimental philosophy is to try to get to the root of certain philosophical problems by gaining a better understanding of the psychological processes that make people think about these problems in the way they do. Thus, experimental philosophers try to (a) conduct experimental studies that help them understand people’s ordinary thought patterns and then (b) use the results from these studies as parts of larger philosophical arguments.

Joshua Knobe is an associate professor at Yale University, appointed both in the program in cognitive science and the department of philosophy.  He has published numerous articles both in psychology journals (Psychological Science, Cognition, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) and in philosophy journals (Journal of Philosophy, Nous, Analysis). Most of his research is in the new field of ‘experimental philosophy,’ which uses experimental methods to examine people’s intuition about philosophical questions.  His work has been featured in the New York Times, the BBC, and Scientific American.