What philosophers think might not be what you think they think

Professional philosophers often appeal to patterns in ordinary thought and talk — “commonsense” — in order to support theories or assumptions. In recent years, the emerging interdisciplinary field
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Professional philosophers often appeal to patterns in ordinary thought and talk — “commonsense” — in order to support theories or assumptions. In recent years, the emerging interdisciplinary field of experimental epistemology has revealed many instances where commonsense epistemology has been seriously mischaracterized. But even if professional philosophers misidentify what the folk think about knowledge, certainly they know what they themselves think about knowledge. Right? Wrong. In a fascinating paper forthcoming in Philosophical Studies, a pair of researchers tested ordinary people and professional philosophers (“experts”) on a range of cases.* A principal finding concerns knowledge attributions in cases where an agent sees an object that is surrounded by visually indistinguishable fakes. Here is one case they tested: (Sculpture) The director of a sculpture museum is so impressed with recent improvements of hologram images that she decides to perform a secret test on the visitors. . .

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