X-Phi, the practice of performing philosophy based on experimental measures from the "real world" tends to concern itself with moral philosophy testing. As I'm finishing up my thesis on the philosophy of data, I am wondering if there are other research projects in progress which use experimental philosophy and apply it to issues of interest to philosophers of science or technology?


The primary experimental philosophy site is here with a listing of areas of research here. There are two referenced papers on the philosophy of science: Paul Griffiths, Edouard Machery and Stefan Linquist. (2009). The Vernacular Concept of Innateness. Mind & Language, 24, 605-630. and Karola Stotz, Experimental Philosophy of Biology: Notes From the Field.

And there are no references to the testing of the philosophy of technology.

To my knowledge, I have not found anyone else categorising their work as something both relating to the philosophy of technology and experimental philosophy. However, it may be the case that non-philosophers are performing what we would call philosophy in their experiments on how people interact with technology. Furthermore, there may be philosophers of technology who are implicitly performing experimental philosophy without describing their work as such.


2 Answers 2


Philpapers has an x-phi list that's easier to trawl through

Also, philosophy of science is often a just a different way to establish answers for epistemological questions, so maybe this might yield some inspirations. Causation is also an important question in philosophy of science,there's a philpapers category on that too x-phi causation. (I'm a stack exchange noob so I can only post 2 links).

There's a huge body of work in cognitive science which uses experimentation to shed light into important (and sometimes age old) questions about mind, meaning and language. A lot of biologists/ sociologists/ psychologists, address philosophical questions about human nature with empirical research, likewise philosophers of biology. Philosophy of AI has overlaps with a lot of experimental research (e.g. see Berkly and MIT AI labs), which I think are kind of related to some fairly important questions in philosophy of technology. Some ecologists too, deal with philosophical problems empirically and ecology is kind of related to philosophy of technology.

If my understanding of x-phi is not too inaccurate (I understand it as research which uses experimentation and analysis of data to answer philosophical questions) then I think a lot more x-phi is done in labs identified with disciplines other than philosophy, compared with research done within x-phi circles. So I think your question won't yield many answers unless you have a specific question in mind (there's just too much to look through!).

I suspect that only x-phi ethics is neatly closed within the x-phi circles, which I think is due to division of labour within academia. Because only philosophy departments have formal academic authority in ethics, so x-phi in ethics doesn't have too much of a crossover with other departments, so chances of not covering all the relevant papers are lower.


I actually just discovered this thread and thought I would respond, seeing as I have recently published an article in the journal Philosophy & Technology on "Experimental Philosophy of Technology," which seems to be very close to what you're looking for. I basically develop a research program that takes an experimental philosophical approach to issues in philosophy and ethics of technology. You can read the article (open access) here: http://doi.org/10.1007%2Fs13347-021-00447-6

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