Experimental Philosophy through History


Contemporary work in experimental philosophy investigates the relationship between empirical methods and philosophical questions. However, there is a rich history of thinking through the general issues surrounding armchair and experimental approaches to philosophy; for instance, such projects can be found in 19th century philosophy, early modern philosophy, and classical Chinese philosophy.

To explore these topics and philosophical questions at the intersection of experimental philosophy and history of philosophy, we will host a one-day conference. The conference will be held at 5 Washington Place, Room 101, New York University on February 20th, from 10:00 AM to 6:15 PM. The conference features six presentations, each with a paired commentary. Please direct any questions to: kevin.tobia@yale.edu.

The conference schedule is now available!


The speakers and presentation titles are as follows:

Peter Anstey (The University of Sydney)

The impact of Experimental Natural Philosophy on Moral Philosophy in the Early Modern Period

  discussion by Stephen Darwall (Yale University)


Scott Edgar (Saint Mary’s University)

What Was the Neo-Kantian Backlash against Empirical Philosophy About?

discussion by John Richardson (New York University)


Alex Klein (California State University)

The Curious Case of the Decapitated Frog; An Experimental Test of Epiphenomenalism?

 discussion by Henry Cowles (Yale University)


Hagop Sarkissian (Baruch College, CUNY)

Intuition and Experimentation in Confucian Ethics

discussion by Stephen Angle (Wesleyan University)


Kathryn Tabb (Columbia University)

Experimental Philosophy and Mad-Folk Psychology: Methodological Considerations from Locke

 discussion by Don Garrett (New York University)


Alberto Vanzo (University of Warwick)

Experimental Philosophy and Eighteenth-Century Sentimentalism: Hume, Turnbull, and Fordyce

 discussion by Alison McIntyre (Wellesley College)