• What is the experience of someone who is “colour-blind” like? This paper presents the results of a study that uses qualitative research methods to better understand the lived experience of colour blindness. Participants were asked to describe their experiences of a variety of coloured stimuli, both with and without EnChroma glasses—glasses which, the manufacturers claim, enhance the experience of people with common forms of colour blindness. More generally, the paper provides a case study in the…Read more
  •  34
    Zombie intuitions
    Cognition. forthcoming.
    In philosophical thought experiments, as in ordinary discourse, our understanding of verbal case descriptions is enriched by automatic comprehension inferences. Such inferences have us routinely infer what else is also true of the cases described. We consider how such routine inferences from polysemous words can generate zombie intuitions: intuitions that are ‘killed’ (defeated) by contextual information but kept cognitively alive by the psycholinguistic phenomenon of linguistic salience bias. E…Read more
  •  142
    Conceptual control: On the feasibility of conceptual engineering
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1-29. 2020.
    This paper empirically raises and examines the question of ‘conceptual control’: To what extent are competent thinkers able to reason properly with new senses of words? This question is crucial for conceptual engineering. This prominently discussed philosophical project seeks to improve our representational devices to help us reason better. It frequently involves giving new senses to familiar words, through normative explanations. Such efforts enhance, rather than reduce, our ability to reason p…Read more
  •  22
    This paper trials new experimental methods for the analysis of natural language reasoning and the development of critical ordinary language philosophy in the wake of J.L. Austin. Philosophical arguments and thought experiments are strongly shaped by default pragmatic inferences, including stereotypical inferences. Austin suggested that contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences are at the root of some philosophical paradoxes and problems, and that these can be resolved by exposing those…Read more
  •  91
    Experimental philosophy is one of the most exciting and controversial philosophical movements today. This book explores how it is reshaping thought about philosophical method. Experimental philosophy imports experimental methods and findings from psychology into philosophy. These fresh resources can be used to develop and defend both armchair methods and naturalist approaches, on an empirical basis. This outstanding collection brings together leading proponents of this new meta-philosophical nat…Read more
  •  463
    Many philosophical thought experiments and arguments involve unusual cases. We present empirical reasons to doubt the reliability of intuitive judgments and conclusions about such cases. Inferences and intuitions prompted by verbal case descriptions are influenced by routine comprehension processes which invoke stereotypes. We build on psycholinguistic findings to determine conditions under which the stereotype associated with the most salient sense of a word predictably supports inappropriate i…Read more
  •  33
    This paper presents a neglected philosophical approach, redevelops it on fresh empirical foundations, and seeks to bring out that it is of not merely historical interest. Building on ideas Ludwig Wittgenstein mooted in the early 1930s, Friedrich Waismann developed a distinctive metaphilosophy: Through case studies on particular philosophical problems, he identified a characteristic structure and genesis displayed by several philosophical problems and presented a distinctive dialogical method for…Read more
  •  298
    Experimental ordinary language philosophy: a cross-linguistic study of defeasible default inferences
    with Paul E. Engelhardt, Joachim Horvath, and Hiroshi Ohtani
    Synthese 198 (2): 1029-1070. 2019.
    This paper provides new tools for philosophical argument analysis and fresh empirical foundations for ‘critical’ ordinary language philosophy. Language comprehension routinely involves stereotypical inferences with contextual defeaters. J.L. Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia first mooted the idea that contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences from verbal case-descriptions drive some philosophical paradoxes; these engender philosophical problems that can be resolved by exposing the underlyi…Read more
  •  40
    The Myth of the Intuitive: Experimental Philosophy and Philosophical Method
    Philosophical Review 127 (3): 413-418. 2018.
  •  259
    Psycholinguistic methods hold great promise for experimental philosophy. Many philosophical thought experiments and arguments proceed from verbal descriptions of possible cases. Many relevant intuitions and conclusions are driven by spontaneous inferences about what else must also be true in the cases described. Such inferences are continually made in language comprehension and production. This chapter explains how methods from psycholinguistics can be employed to study such routine automatic in…Read more
  •  201
    Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy (edited book)
    with Mark Curtis
    Bloomsbury Press. 2019.
    Until recently, experimental philosophy has been associated with the questionnaire-based study of intuitions; however, experimental philosophers now adapt a wide range of empirical methods for new philosophical purposes. New methods include paradigms for behavioural experiments from across the social sciences as well as computational methods from the digital humanities that can process large bodies of text and evidence. This book offers an accessible overview of these exciting innovations. The …Read more
  •  153
    Unfair to physiology
    Acta Analytica 16 (26): 135-155. 2001.
    The paper seeks to refute the idea that physiology can explain at best an organism’s behaviour, outward and inner, but not the conscious experiences that accompany that behaviour. To do so, the paper clarifies the idea by confrontation with an actual example of psychophysical explanation of perceptual experience. This reveals that the idea relies on a prejudice about physiological practice. Then the paper explores some peculiar ways in which this prejudice may survive its refutation. This is to …Read more
  •  371
    Wittgensteinian 'Therapy', Experimental Philosophy, and Metaphilosophical Naturalism
    In Kevin Cahill & Thomas Raleigh (eds.), Wittgenstein and Naturalism, Routledge. pp. 260-286. 2018.
    An important strand of current experimental philosophy promotes a new kind of methodological naturalism. This chapter argues that this new ‘metaphilosophical naturalism’ is fundamentally consistent with key tenets of Wittgenstein’s metaphilosophy, and can provide empirical foundations for therapeutic conceptions of philosophy. Metaphilosophical naturalism invites us to contribute to the resolution of philosophical problems about X by turning to scientific findings about the way we think about X …Read more
  •  252
    Two analogy strategies: the cases of mind metaphors and introspection
    Connection Science 30 (2): 211-243. 2018.
    Analogical reasoning is often employed in problem-solving and metaphor interpretation. This paper submits that, as a default, analogical reasoning addressing these different tasks employs different mapping strategies: In problem-solving, it employs analogy-maximising strategies (like structure mapping, Gentner & Markman 1997); in metaphor interpretation, analogy-minimising strategies (like ATT-Meta, Barnden 2015). The two strategies interact in analogical reasoning with conceptual metaphors. Thi…Read more
  •  431
    The paper builds on a methodological idea from experimental philosophy and on findings from psycholinguistics, to develop and defend ordinary language analysis (OLA) as practiced in J.L. Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia. That attack on sense-datum theories of perception focuses on the argument from illusion. Through a case-study on this paradoxical argument, the present paper argues for a form of OLA which is psychologically informed, seeks to expose epistemic, rather than semantic, defects in para…Read more
  •  17
    Linguistic Creativity
    Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2000.
    How is it that speakers can get to know the meaning of any of indefinitely many sentences they have never encountered before? - the 'problem of linguistic creativity' posed by this question is a core problem of both philosophy of language and theoretical linguistics, and has sparked off a considerable amount of work in the philosophy of mind. The book establishes the failure of the familiar - compositional - approach to this problem, and then takes a radically new start: It develops core elemen…Read more
  •  97
    Philosophical pictures
    Synthese 148 (2). 2006.
    The paper develops a novel account of the nature and genesis of some philosophical problems, which motivates an unfamiliar form of philosophical criticism that was pioneered by the later Wittgenstein. To develop the account, the paper analyses two thematically linked sets of problems, namely problems about linguistic understanding: a set of problems Wittgenstein discusses in a core part of his Philosophical Investigations, and the ‘problem of linguistic creativity’ that is central to current phi…Read more
  •  45
    Discrimination: A Challenge to First‐Person Authority?
    Philosophical Investigations 24 (4): 330-346. 2001.
    It is no surprise that empirical psychology refutes, again and again, assumptions of uneducated common sense. But some puzzlement tends to arise when scientific results appear to call into question the very conceptual framework of the mental to which we have become accustomed. This paper shall examine a case in point: Experiments on colour-discrimination have recently been taken to refute an assumption of first-person authority that appears to be constitutive of our ordinary notion of perceptual…Read more
  •  106
    The paper outlines the evolution of on-going meta-philosophical debates about intuitions, explains different notions of 'intuition' employed in these debates, and argues for the philosophical relevance of intuitions in an aetiological sense taken from cognitive psychology. On this basis, it advocates a new kind of methodological naturalism which it finds implicit, for instance, in the warrant project in experimental philosophy: a meta-philosophical naturalism that promotes the use of scientific…Read more
  •  172
    Diagnostic Experimental Philosophy
    with Paul E. Engelhardt
    Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 36 (3): 117-137. 2017.
    Experimental philosophy’s much-discussed ‘restrictionist’ program seeks to delineate the extent to which philosophers may legitimately rely on intuitions about possible cases. The present paper shows that this program can be (i) put to the service of diagnostic problem-resolution (in the wake of J.L. Austin) and (ii) pursued by constructing and experimentally testing psycholinguistic explanations of intuitions which expose their lack of evidentiary value: The paper develops a psycholinguistic ex…Read more
  •  117
    Conceptual metaphors facilitate both productive and pernicious analogical reasoning. This article addresses the question: When and why does the frequently helpful use of metaphor become pernicious? By applying the most influential theoretical framework from cognitive psychology in analysing the philosophically most prominent example of pernicious metaphorical reasoning, we identify a philosophically relevant but previously undescribed fallacy in analogical reasoning with metaphors. We then outli…Read more
  •  341
    A cognitive self-therapy : PI 138-97
    In Erich Ammereller & Eugen Fischer (eds.), Wittgenstein at Work: Method in the Philosophical Investigations, Routledge. pp. 86--126. 2004.
    Wittgenstein compared his treatment of philosophical questions to the cure of an illness, his philosophical methods to different types of therapies. This paper seeks to spell out the point of these comparisons. To this end, it analyzes Wittgenstein's problems and proceeding in sections 138-197 of his "Philosophical Investigations", with the help of some new concepts, in part adapted from clinical psychology, namely, cognitive therapy. They are used to conceptualize the problems at issue in such …Read more
  •  36
    One major facilitator of analogical reasoning is conceptual metaphor: cross-domain mappings that preserve relations and thereby motivate the extension of linguistic terms from the source to the target domain. Their conscious and explicit use in analogical reasoning has been helpful and productive in disciplines ranging from physics to psychology, and philosophy. At the same time, students of metaphor have suggested that partially unwitting use of conceptual metaphors led to unsound but intuitive…Read more
  •  147
    The paper presents a novel account of nature and genesis of some philosophical problems, which vindicates a new approach to an arguably central and extensive class of such problems: The paper develops the Wittgensteinian notion of ‘philosophical pictures’ with the help of some notions adapted from metaphor research in cognitive linguistics and from work on unintentional analogical reasoning in cognitive psychology. The paper shows that adherence to such pictures systematically leads to the formu…Read more
  •  162
    Diseases of the Understanding and the Need for Philosophical Therapy
    Philosophical Investigations 34 (1): 22-54. 2011.
    The paper develops and addresses a major challenge for therapeutic conceptions of philosophy of the sort increasingly attributed to Wittgenstein. To be substantive and relevant, such conceptions have to identify “diseases of the understanding” from which philosophers suffer, and to explain why these “diseases” need to be cured in order to resolve or overcome important philosophical problems. The paper addresses this challenge in three steps: With the help of findings and concepts from cognitive …Read more
  •  89
    Intuitions and illusions: From explanation and experiment to assessment
    with Paul E. Engelhardt and Aurelie Herbelot
    In Eugen Fischer & John Collins (eds.), Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism. Rethinking Philosophical Method, Routledge. pp. 259-292. 2015.
    This paper pioneers the use of methods and findings from psycholinguistics in experimental philosophy’s ‘sources project’. On this basis, it clarifies the epistemological relevance of empirical findings about intuitions – a key methodological challenge to experimental philosophy. The sources project (aka ‘cognitive epistemology of intuitions’) seeks to develop psychological explanations of philosophically relevant intuitions, which help us assess their evidentiary value. One approach seeks expla…Read more
  •  84
    A certain orthodoxy has it that understanding is essentially computational: that information about what a sentence means is something that may be generated by means of a derivational process from information about the significance of the sentences constituent parts and of the ways in which they are put together. And that it is therefore fruitful to study formal theories acceptable as compositional theories of meaning for natural languages: theories that deliver for each sentence of their object-…Read more