Having said that, I thin Appiah also downplays one of its major strengths. In passing, he notes that experimental philosophy can enforce a kind of modesty -- again, the reminder that our intuitions aren't universal.
But that's actually a big deal. This was brought home to me in an Epistemology course last year. We'd read some feminist epistemology and many of the students would reject it immediately as patently absurd. Later we read some experimental philosophy -- making essentially the same point about the contingency of our intuitions, and everyone thought it was completely obvious. So, for better or worse, experimental philosophy can break down resistance to new philosophical ideas.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Experimental philosophy in the NYT
The article is titled The New New Philosophy, and found via John Capps. Capps' commentary is also worth noting: