Thought experiments are a mainstay in philosophy. We think about how to apply philosophical concepts to hypothetical cases in an effort to draw conclusions about their application more generally. To take a familiar example, one way we might learn that justified true belief isn’t knowledge involves first having an intuition that a subject has a justified true belief that doesn’t rise to the level of knowledge in a hypothetical case (a so-called Gettier case).

About thirty years ago so-called negative experimental philosophers started to call this practice into question with the help of experimental results. According to them, we should distrust our intuitive verdicts about cases. Their reason: when we survey the folk, we find that variation in their intuitive verdicts about cases depends significantly on factors about their own psychology, which are irrelevant to the truth of the philosophical views at issue. They issued a challenge to explain why...

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