Philosophical Studies

, Volume 172, Issue 12, pp 3273–3292 | Cite as

What is a philosophical effect? Models of data in experimental philosophy

  • Bryce HuebnerEmail author


Papers in experimental philosophy rarely offer an account of what it would take to reveal a philosophically significant effect. In part, this is because experimental philosophers tend to pay insufficient attention to the hierarchy of models that would be required to justify interpretations of their data; as a result, some of their most exciting claims fail as explanations. But this does not impugn experimental philosophy. My aim is to show that experimental philosophy could be made more successful by developing, articulating, and advancing plausible models of the data that are collected and the analyses that are employed.


Experimental philosophy Models of data Likert scales 



Eric Winsberg and Rebecca Kukla helped me see that the relationship between models of data and scientific explanation was relevant to experimental philosophy. I received helpful feedback on an early version of this paper from Rik Hine and an audience at the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology (Austin, 2013). Ruth Kramer, James Mattingly, and J. Brendan Ritchie read drafts of this paper, and offered comments that made the arguments stronger than they otherwise would have been. Finally, I would like to thank all of the anonymous reviewers of this paper; I appreciated the time they took to offer comments, even where I disagreed with them.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

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