In “The Data against Kant,” Vlad Chituc discusses psychological research challenging Kant’s principle that ought implies can. This is the principle that “it would be absurd to suggest that we should do what we couldn’t possibly do.” The research shows that there are common situations in which nonphilosophers do think it makes sense to say someone ought to do something that it is impossible for them to do it. In these situations “ought” has more to do with “blame” than with “can.” This in turn raises questions about “experimental philosophy” and the role the intuitions of nonphilosophers ought to play in philosophical analysis. Can we draw conclusions about what we ought to think from data about what some people actually think?
In this video Gregg Caruso explains how not believing in free will would be good for us. “What would happen if we all believed free will didn’t exist? As a free will skeptic, Dr. Gregg Caruso contends our society would be better off believing there is no such thing as free will.”
The state of our body affects how we think the world works. For example, belief in free will is negatively correlated with the desire to urinate. Daniel Yudkin explains some recent research leading to this conclusion.
Is trolleyology a joke? No, seriously, is it a joke? That people chuckle when asked if they would push the fat man on the trolley tracks could mean the entire thought experiment isn’t of much use. “A trolley is careening toward an unsuspecting group of workers. You have the power to derail the trolley onto a track with just one worker. Do you do it? It might not matter.”
Moral judgments depend on whether we are speaking a foreign language. “… when people are presented with the trolley problem in a foreign language, they are more willing to sacrifice one person to save five than when they are presented with the dilemma in their native tongue.”
Experimental philosophy and self-identity. Joshua Knobe shows that blurring the line between psychology and philosophy can help us figure out who or what the true you is.