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Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds$
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Edouard Machery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198807520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198807520.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 July 2021

Fooled by Cognitive Artifacts

Fooled by Cognitive Artifacts

(p.90) 3 Fooled by Cognitive Artifacts
Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds

Edouard Machery

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 examines one of the two concerns often brought up against the method of cases: The judgments elicited by cases seem epistemically deficient. This concern is captured by the first argument against the method of cases, which I call “Unreliability”: Cases currently used in philosophy as well as those cases that would be particularly useful for some central philosophical purposes are likely to elicit unreliable judgments. Judgments elicited by typical philosophical cases are similar to experimental artifacts—outcomes of experimental manipulations that are not due to the phenomena experimentally investigated, but to the (often otherwise reliable) experimental tools used to investigate them. That is, they often are “cognitive artifacts.” Chapter 3 concludes that we ought to suspend judgment when confronted with a philosophical case.

Keywords:   reliability, calibration, hopefulness, cognitive artifacts, Galileo’s telescope, Coulomb’s torsion balance, the generality problem, disturbing characteristics

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