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Philosophy Outside-InA Critique of Academic Reason$
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Christopher Norris

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748684557

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748684557.001.0001

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Under Which King, Bezonian? Experimental Philosophy versus Thought Experiment

Under Which King, Bezonian? Experimental Philosophy versus Thought Experiment

Chapter:
(p.95) Chapter 3 Under Which King, Bezonian? Experimental Philosophy versus Thought Experiment
Source:
Philosophy Outside-In
Author(s):

Christopher Norris

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748684557.003.0004

In this chapter I present a critical review of the current debate between partisans of two, on the face of it sharply conflicting movements of thought. On the one hand are ranged the thought-experimentalists, those who uphold some version of the ‘armchair’ philosopher’s appeal to truths of reason or a priori grounds of knowledge. On the other are found their more empirically-minded opponents who urge that we abandon such delusory ideas and instead practise some form of ‘experimental philosophy’. This latter is conceived very much on the model of the social sciences and involves a survey of opinion on various topics conducted across a sample group of respondents. Here I argue that a strongly naturalised approach to epistemology and philosophy of mind is the only way that philosophy will achieve (what it surely wants and needs) a fully-fledged monism capable of laying those problems to rest. In the process it would also leave behind that kindred dualist misconception that would suppose the existence of a deep divide between experiments carried out in the first-person apodictic ‘laboratory of the mind’ and experiments conducted on the basis of third-person evidence or enquiry.

Keywords:   a priori knowledge, ‘armchair’ philosophy, dualism, epistemology, experimental philosophy, monism, naturalism, rationalism, thought experiments

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