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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

CALL FOR PAPERS: Special issue of 'Discipline filosofiche' on philosophical analysis and experimental philosophy


Over the last decades, a renewed interest for metaphilosophical issues has 
prompted many philosophers in the analytic tradition to ask questions on the 
epistemic status and the methodology of philosophical inquiry. Reflection has 
focussed especially on the nature and reliability of intuitions, on the notion 
of /a priori/and on the plausibility of the idea that philosophical knowledge 
can be gained, as the phrase goes, from the armchair.

This attitude stems from various sources, such as the cognitive turn that has 
shaped a consistent part of recent Anglophone philosophy, the revival of 
metaphysics encouraged by Kripke's rehabilitation of /de re/necessity, and the 
formulation of new accounts of analyticity and /a priori/knowledge. In part, 
however, metaphilosophical issues have become so urgent for today's analytical 
philosophers as a result of the increasing attraction of so-called 
'experimental philosophy'.

Upholders of experimental philosophy are driven by the idea that philosophical 
inquiry cannot afford to ignore the data gathered by empirical sciences. 
Considering the tendency to discount empirical results to retreat into the 
domain of the /a priori/as a relatively recent development in philosophical 
methodology, they advocate a return to an earlier idea of philosophy, conceived 
as the study of the deepest questions raised by the human condition, a study 
necessarily open to the contributions of various empirical disciplines, such as 
psychology, cognitive sciences, social sciences and history.

In the last fifteen years or so, practitioners of experimental philosophy have 
thus collected several sets of empirical data, from which they wish to draw 
significant consequences about the plausibility of various philosophical views 
concerning, for instance, linguistic reference, the nature of knowledge and 
issues in moral philosophy. Many of these philosophers believe that empirical 
research can enhance our understanding of several important philosophical 
notions and issues. But some are more radical: they argue that the results of 
empirical research show that the traditional way of doing philosophy, with its 
reliance on counterfactual reasoning and intuitions generated by mental 
experiments, is intrinsically unreliable. As one would expect, this more 
radical position has sparked serious concern among practitioners of traditional 
philosophical analysis. Thus, they have variously reacted to the challenge by 
questioning the soundness of the methodology employed by experimental 
philosophers in collecting their data, by denying that such empirical data can 
have any genuine bearing on philosophical research, or by refining their own 
view of the nature of the intuitions employed in conceptual and/or 
philosophical analysis.

The aim of this issue of /Discipline filosofiche/is to collect papers 
representing a wide range of approaches and positions on the many issues raised 
by this clash of metaphilosophical paradigms.

The issue will host two opening contributions by two well-known exponents of 
the opposite sides of the debate: Ernest Sosa (Rutgers University) and Jonathan 
Weinberg (University of Arizona).

Submissions are invited on both the experimental side -- promoting new ways of 
pursuing philosophical inquiry -- and the traditional side -- defending 
classical philosophical analysis. Papers may be theoretical or experimental in 
character, either discussing broad methodological questions (the role of 
intuitions, the value of mental experiments, various conceptions of naturalism, 
etc.) or elaborating on experimental studies concerning particular concepts. 
Papers assessing the merits and limits of both attitudes, either in general or 
in specific research fields, will be particularly welcome. Submissions will be 
considered in all the philosophical disciplines or subdisciplines: 
epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and cognitive 
sciences, philosophy of mathematics and mathematical cognition, reasoning and 
philosophy of logic, ethics, aesthetics, etc.

*Guest Contributors**
//Ernest Sosa (Rutgers University)
Jonathan Weinberg (University of Arizona)

*Guest Editors*

Mario Alai (University of Urbino)
Andrea Sereni (San Raffaele University)
Giorgio Volpe (University of Bologna)

*Submission **guidelines*

Submitted manuscripts must be written in English and should not exceed 9,000 
words including abstract, references and footnotes.

All manuscripts will go through a double-blind peer review process. They should 
be prepared for anonymous refereeing and sent by email attachment in .docx, 
.doc, .odt, or .rtf format to giorgio.volpe@unibo.it (all submissions will be 

Submitted manuscripts can be formatted in any clear and consistent style, but 
authors finalizing their papers for publication will be required to hand in a 
final version that respects the journal's stylistic rules.

Submission of a manuscript is understood to imply that the paper has not been 
published before and is not being considered for publication by any other 

*Relevant Dates**


Deadline for submission: 31 December, 2014.

Notification of acceptance, conditional acceptance, rejection: 31 May, 2015.

Final version due: 30 September, 2015.