Date of Degree

9-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Philosophy

Advisor

Jesse Prinz

Committee Members

Linda Martin Alcoff

Miranda Fricker

Subject Categories

Epistemology | Feminist Philosophy | Other Philosophy | Philosophy of Science

Keywords

experimental philosophy, metaphilosophy, feminist epistemology, scientism, feminist empiricism

Abstract

The recent turn toward experimental philosophy, particularly in ethics and epistemology, might appear to be supported by feminist epistemology, insofar as experimental philosophy signifies a break from the tradition of primarily white, middle-class men attempting to draw universal claims from within the limits of their own experience and research. However, the relationship between the two is not so straightforward, and an analysis of their connection bears on broader questions concerning intuitions, philosophical methodology, and epistemic standards more generally. This dissertation project aims to 1) examine the conception of intuitions that appears to underpin many projects in experimental philosophy, 2) levy a charge of scientism against certain experimental philosophy practices, 3) explore how these two features contribute to a unique variety of epistemic objectification, and 4) draw on feminist epistemology to propose a revised view of intuitions and corresponding qualitative methodology for experimental philosophy. Ultimately, this dissertation accepts one broad premise of experimental philosophy – that the intuitions and insights of non-philosophers may be uniquely useful in addressing philosophical issues – and incorporates considerations from feminist epistemology to explore how to best integrate these viewpoints into theorizing in such a way that both resolves some tensions between these two methodologies, and in doing so, highlights cooperative benefits that may improve the methods of experimental philosophy.

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