Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published May 2012 | public
Journal Article

Thought Experiments, Real Experiments, and the Expertise Objection


It is a commonplace that in philosophy, intuitions supply evidence for and against philosophical theories. Recent work in experimental philosophy has brought to bear the intuitions of philosophically naïve subjects in a number of different ways. One line of response to this work has been to claim that philosophers have expertise that privileges their intuitive judgments, and allows them to disregard the judgments of non-experts. This expertise is supposed to be analogous to the expertise of the mathematician or the physicist. This paper critically evaluates this appeal to philosophical expertise.

Additional Information

© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Received: 1 March 2011; Accepted: 30 March 2012; Published online: 9 May 2012. For comments, suggestion, and discussion, I would like to thank Colin Camerer, David Danks, Stephan Hartmann, Carrie Jenkins, Josh Knobe, Tania Lombrozo, Edouard Machery, Jennifer Nagel, Samir Okasha, Laurie Paul, Carson Schutze, Roy Sorensen, Jan Sprenger, Jim Woodward, audience members at the workshop on the Future of Philosophy of Science, Tilburg University, and several anonymous referees.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 26, 2023