Experimental philosophy is still a relatively new field of study, which started last 2000 when a group of students decided to apply experimental procedures used in psychology to philosophy. According to the Experimental Philosophy Society â€œexperimental philosophy involves the collection of empirical data to shed light on philosophical issues.â€ This empirical data is usually gathered through surveys wherein the participants are ordinary people. This is obviously a much different approach than the traditional analytical philosophy wherein philosophers based their arguments on premises they come up with. As can be expected, criticism regarding experimental philosophy abound.
Despite the resistance of many philosophers to experimental philosophy this emerging field in philosophy is also being welcomed quite warmly, not only among seasoned philosophers but among people from other field of studies. The reason for this is that due to the nature or experimental philosophy (data collection) those from related fields of study can contribute much. As the mission statement of the Experimental Philosophy Society states, â€œit is expected that the membership of the society will include faculty, students, and interested amateurs not only in philosophy but also in psychology, anthropology, sociology, law, and other related fields.â€
Right now areas of research in experimental philosophy include consciousness, cultural diversity, determinism and moral responsibility, and intentional action. For an updated list of research using experimental philosophy visit the X-Phi wiki. You can even add your paper, as long as it uses experimental philosophy of course.