Experimental Philosophy Advances

Experimental philosophy is a young (and controversial) subdiscipline of philosophy, but enough of it has been conducted that potentially informative meta-analyses are now possible. The first ever x-phi meta-analysis to be published will soon be appearing in Consciousness and Cognition. It is by Adam Feltz (Michigan Tech) and Florian Cova (University of Geneva) and is entitled “Moral Responsibility and Free Will: A Meta-Analysis.” It raises doubts about the findings of some earlier x-phi work. From the abstract:

Recent research suggests that emotional reactions play a prominent role in judgments about free will, influencing judgments about determinism’s relation to free will and moral responsibility. However, the extent to which affect influences these judgments is unclear. We conducted a metaanalysis to estimate the impact of affect. Our meta-analysis indicates that beliefs in free will are largely robust to emotional reactions.

A version of the paper is available here. (via Sara Protasi)

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