IntroductionA group of philosophers and social scientists gathered at Egenis for a workshop entitled Naturalism and Empirical Philosophy.
The workshop explored the highly controversial idea that philosophical questions can be resolved through empirical research, and that professional philosophers should embrace methods more commonly associated with the social sciences.
Among the speakers was leading exponent of the ‘X-phi’ experimental philosophy A/Prof Edouard Machery of the University of Pittsburgh, who presented a selection of his work. Other speakers included Egenis researchers Dr Staffan Müller-Wille and Professor Paul Griffiths, and philosopher of social science Dr Francesco Guala of the University of Exeter.
A key theme that emerged at the workshop was a dissatisfaction with the apparent identification by the American X-phi movement of ‘empirical’ research with quantitative research, to the exclusion of many other empirical approaches found in the social sciences.