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Keywords:

  • experimental philosophy;
  • expertise;
  • thought experiments

Abstract: Some proponents of “experimental philosophy” criticize philosophers' use of thought experiments on the basis of evidence that the verdicts vary with truth-independent factors. However, their data concern the verdicts of philosophically untrained subjects. According to the expertise defence, what matters are the verdicts of trained philosophers, who are more likely to pay careful attention to the details of the scenario and track their relevance. In a recent article, Jonathan M. Weinberg and others reply to the expertise defence that there is no evidence for such expertise. They now receive a reply in this article, which argues that they have misconstrued the dialectical situation. Since they have produced no evidence that philosophical training is less efficacious for thought experimentation than for other cognitive tasks for which they acknowledge that it produces genuine expertise, such as informal argumentation, they have produced no evidence for treating the former more sceptically than the latter.