Experimental Philosophy Meets Formal Epistemology

[Crossposted at Choice & Inference]  I’m currently working away on an entry for the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy (eds. Justin Sytsma and Wesley Buckwalter) on Formal Epistemology. The current plan is for the entry to explore the following two points:

  1. For the formal philosopher, there are unique ways in which experimental work can potentially inform philosophical practice;
  2. Work in formal epistemology also potentially advances experimental work (in philosophy and psychology).

Taken together, the idea is that formal and experimental methods play nicely together in philosophy – or at least in epistemology.  There are various ways I could clarify and argue for these claims (and I have a working paper in which I do a bit of this), but I’m thinking that it would be most appropriate in this entry simply to point to the proof in the pudding.  While I’m not going to be claiming that my entry gives an exhaustive survey of the work at the intersection of formal epistemology and experimental philosophy, I would like to mention – if not discuss – a good deal of this work.

This brings me to the point of this post. I’d be most grateful if readers could comment (or email me) with suggestions for relatively recent work in this vein. Given the above, I’m specifically looking either (1) for work in which experimental methods are used to support some formal epistemological thesis, concept, result, etc., or (2) for work in which formal epistemological theses, concepts, results, etc. are used to advance the experimental work on some philosophically pertinent topic.

Here are a few of the things that I know about already (though I’m strategically leaving a number of things off this list because I want to see if they come up in the comments):

  • Aidan Lyon et al.’s work on the social epistemology of judgment aggregation
  • Oaksford & Chater and others comparing candidate formal logics with actual human reasoning
  • Crupi & Tentori’s work on confirmation measures
  • Tania Lombrozo and others on formal models of explanatory power … also Lombrozo on simplicity
  • Ulrike Hahn’s experimental investigation into Bayesian measures of coherence
  • Fitelson, Crupi, Tentori, and others on the conjunction fallacy
  • Fitelson, Hawthorne, Oaksford, Chater and others on the Wason Selection Task

I’d appreciate any help readers could give me as I think through the structure / content of this entry … Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *