Empirical Methods of Linguistics in Philosophy

March 13, 2014 - March 14, 2014
Institute of Philosophy and Political Science, TU Dortmund

Otto-Hahn-Str. 2
Dortmund 44227

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  • Gesellschaft der Freunde der Universität Dortmund e.V.


Anna Drożdżowicz
Eugen Fischer
University of East Anglia
Aurelie Herbelot
University of Cambridge
Shin Sakuragi
Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tōkyō
Magdalena Sztencel
University of Newcastle
Barbara Vetter
Humboldt-University, Berlin
Emanuel Viebahn
Humboldt-University, Berlin


Roland Bluhm
TU Dortmund

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The “experimental philosophy” movement has recently gained some momentum in the philosophical community. The movement’s basic idea is to introduce experimental methods (other than thought experiments) or, more broadly conceived, empirical methods to philosophy. Appropriated from the experimental paradigm in psychology, the method most often employed in experimental philosophy arguably is the use of questionnaires. Using experimental studies of this kind in philosophy may serve a number of purposes. A prominent one is to supplement the more traditional tools of analytic philosophy which are used in conceptual analyses of philosophically interesting terms. However, there is also a variety of other (at least partially) empirical methods in linguistics, e.g. corpus analysis, etymology, discourse analysis or field studies, which could also be used for a variety of similar purposes.  The guiding questions of the workshop are: Which empirical methods from linguistics have been applied in philosophy already? To which end? Where and how could such methods be applied? What are the potential benefits, what are the limits of their application?

The workshop brings together researchers who implement empirical methods from linguistics in their philosophical research. Although the focus of the workshop is on the use of such methods in philosophy, both philosophers and linguists will be involved. Each of the workshop sessions will open with a paper demonstrating the application of a specific linguistic method in philosophy. This paper will be followed by two peer commentaries, one by a linguist, the other by a philosopher.

The primary purpose of the workshop is exploratory: The potential applications, the benefits and the limits of linguistic methods in philosophy stand in need of clarification. The secondary purpose is to create a networking opportunity for researchers who employ (and those who intend to employ) empirical methods from linguistics in philosophy.

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February 28, 2014, 7:00am CET

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Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

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Custom tags:

#Experimental Philosophy, #Empirical Philosophy