Armchair in Flames? Experimental Philosophy and its Critics
Workshop, Cologne University, Sept. 22-24, 2008
organized by Thomas Grundmann andJoachim Horvath, University of Cologne (Germany)


Recent empirical findings from experimental philosophy suggest that philosophical intuitions are much more sensitive to all kinds of background factors than traditional philosophers have thought. This relativity of intuitions seems to present a severe challenge to the standard procedure in philosophy, namely clarifying philosophical phenomena just by relying on intuitions.

Our workshop will focus on the following questions:

• To what extent are intuitions relative in different areas of philosophy?
• What are the determining background factors? (theory, cultural and socio-economic factors, priming effects etc.)
• Are intuitions relative across the board and under all conditions? Are folk intuitions, conceptual intuitions as well as rational intuitions equally affected? Does relativity even hold for sufficiently reflected intuitions?
• Can we explain away the experimentally observed relativity by reinterpreting the data or criticizing the methodology of experimental philosophy?
• What bearing do these findings have on the status of intuitions as evidence?

There will be participants from both camps: experimental philosophers as well as more traditionally minded philosophers. Here is a list of the confirmed speakers:

Thomas Grundmann (Köln, Germany)
Frank Hofmann (Tübingen, Germany)
Joachim Horvath (Köln, Germany)
Jens Kipper (Köln, Germany)
Kirk Ludwig (University of Florida, USA)
Thomas Nadelhoffer (Dickinson College, USA)
Christian Nimtz (Hamburg, Germany)
Joseph Shieber (Lafayette College, USA)
Ernest Sosa (Rutgers, USA)
Anand Vaidya (San José, USA)
Jonathan Weinberg (Indiana, USA)