Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Patrick Beach


This poster will explain the nature of a newly emerging field in philosophy called experimental philosophy (“X-phi”) and its presence on Boise State’s campus. BSU’s X-phi group operates via gathering data from “everyday” people, sorting and statistically analyzing the data, then reviewing trends identified people’s intuitions about certain concepts (e.g. know-how, intentional action, moral correctness, etc.). We are exploring the concept of Honesty—a concept that has, to date, not been adequately analyzed. To distinguish theories developed as a result of this research, X-phi employs the term “folk theory”, literally referring to the theory that the majority of people are found to hold. It’s then interdisciplinarily informative determine where these folk theories match up, or fail to, with existing philosophical theories. X-phi is still establishing itself in the greater academic community, but is proving its worth; philosopher and professor at Tufts University, Daniel Dennett, acknowledges in a recently published book review that “some of the work has yielded interesting results that certainly defy complacent assumptions common among philosophers.” BSU’s X-Phi group has been active on campus for two years; this poster will report the group’s evolution, current work, and explain what X-Phi is in general.

Included in

Philosophy Commons