Philosophical Studies

, Volume 161, Issue 2, pp 227-246

First online:

The Philosophical Personality Argument

  • Adam FeltzAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies, Schreiner University Email author 
  • , Edward T. CokelyAffiliated withCenter for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Human DevelopmentMichigan Technological University

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Perhaps personality traits substantially influence one’s philosophically relevant intuitions. This suggestion is not only possible, it is consistent with a growing body of empirical research: Personality traits have been shown to be systematically related to diverse intuitions concerning some fundamental philosophical debates. We argue that this fact, in conjunction with the plausible principle that almost all adequate philosophical views should take into account all available and relevant evidence, calls into question some prominent approaches to traditional philosophical projects. To this end, we present the Philosophical Personality Argument (PPA). We explain how it supports the growing body of evidence challenging some of the uses of intuitions in philosophy, and we defend it from some criticisms of empirically based worries about intuitions in philosophy. We conclude that the current evidence indicates that the PPA is sound, and thus many traditional philosophical projects that use intuitions must become substantially more empirically oriented.


Experimental philosophy Intuitions Personality Philosophical method Psychology