Philosophical Studies

, Volume 161, Issue 2, pp 227–246 | Cite as

The Philosophical Personality Argument

  • Adam FeltzEmail author
  • Edward T. Cokely


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 



Authorship is equal. We would like to thank Al Mele, Shaun Nichols, Jonathan Weinberg, Stephen Stich, Stewart Cohen, Eric Schulz, attendees at the Northwest Philosophy Conference, and attendees at the Experimental Philosophy Workshop in Wroclaw, Poland for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. We are also indebted to Gerd Gigerenzer and the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, in Berlin, for support during the development of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary StudiesSchreiner UniversityKerrvilleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Adaptive Behavior and CognitionMax Planck Institute for Human DevelopmentBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Michigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA

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