Comparative judgement for experimental philosophy: A method for assessing ordinary meaning in vehicles in the park cases

Fenner Tanswell, Ben Davies, Ian Jones, George Kinnear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper demonstrates the value to experimental philosophy of an empirical method from the social sciences – that of comparative judgment. Comparative judgment is a method of assigning scores to (perceptions of) objects using paired comparisons. We use this method to explore the “ordinary meaning” of words, and the classic case of vehicles in the park in particular. We present an empirical study comprising three conditions. Given a pair of potential vehicles, participants were asked to judge either 1) the better example of a vehicle, 2) the worse violation of a sign that reads “no vehicles in the park”, or 3) the bigger nuisance in a park. We find that both the meaning of the wording of the rule and the intention behind it influence participants judgments of rule-violations, consistent with previous studies. More importantly, comparative judgment provides more fine-grained information about agreement and the weighted rankings of the potential vehicles than other methods, with widespread potential applications in experimental philosophy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Early online date5 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Oct 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative judgement for experimental philosophy: A method for assessing ordinary meaning in vehicles in the park cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this