Archive for the ‘Experimental Philosophy’ Category
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (henceforth TMS) has already been shown to be able to alter our neurological processes and thereby alter our moods and behavior. A recent study, for example, involved subjects whose neurological processes were altered via TMS (more specifically, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was exposed to TMS). The result was that subjects were more likely to agree to unfair distributions of resources in the Ultimatum Game.¹
Professors appear to think that voting regularly in public elections is about as morally good as donating 10% of one’s income to charity. This seems, anyway, to be suggested by the results of a survey Josh Rust and I sent earlier this year to hundreds of U.S. professors, ethicists and non-ethicists, both inside and outside of philosophy. (The survey is also described in a couple of previous posts at The Splintered Mind.)
(HT: Jon Jacobs)
From Western Michigan University:
We are pleased to announce a call for papers for Western Michigan University’s 4th Annual Graduate Philosophy Conference. Papers are due October 22, and the conference takes place December 3-5. Acceptances will be issued by October 29. All local expenses (inc.housing and food) will be covered. Our keynote speakers this year are Joshua Knobe (Yale) and Edouard Machery (Pitt HPS). While we are especially interested in papers that engage their work, papers of any topic will be considered. More details—including submission guidelines—may be found here, though note that October 22 is the revised deadline. Any questions may be addressed to the conference organizers.
From the New York Times … accompanied by a nice picture of Descartes’s skull, adorned by “a Latin poem praising [his] genius”:
Do experimental methods offer new horizons for philosophy departments, which have come under attack for being impractical?
Philosophy has long been the province of abstract thinking and theoretical problems, conducted as easily in the armchair as in the lab. But recently, “experimental” philosophers have used surveys, fMRI’s, and other tools from psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science to analyze age-old philosophical problems.
As philosophy departments have come under attack for being costly and impractical, do experimental methods, called “x-phi” by its proponents, offer new horizons for old problems? Or are they immaterial and a waste of time?
The discussion continues here.