Education Programs: Institutes for Higher Education Faculty

Period of Performance

10/1/2008 - 12/31/2009

Funding Totals

$182,448.00 (approved)
$182,448.00 (awarded)

Experimental Philosophy

FAIN: EH-50158-08

University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9049)
Ronald Jerry Mallon (Project Director: March 2008 to June 2010)

A four-week institute for twenty-four college and university teachers designed to open up new lines of inquiry by bringing empirical work to bear on traditional philosophical concerns.

In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in bringing a new set of tools to bear on traditional philosophical concerns. "Experimental philosophy" explores philosophical judgments by conducting experiments on people's intuitions about philosophically important concepts. Research in experimental philosophy already spans a wide range of areas of philosophy, including ethics, semantics, metaphysics, the philosophy of language and of science, and this work has also attracted the attention of a much broader network of philosophers. We propose an NEH Summer Institute on the topic. Experimental philosophy has grown rapidly over the last several years, but evaluating, conducting, and teaching work in experimental philosophy requires skills that are not currently part of normal professional training for philosophers. The proposed Institute is designed to enable participants to engage experimental philosophy as teachers, practitioners, and critics.