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Manifesto

Our inquiries are inspired by the longing for critical reflection over the methodological basis of so called experimental philosophy, which is a tendency to ‘test’ the hypotheses with respect to their concepts, the logical structure of their sentences or to the validity of their inference, and with reference to linguistic competences of an average language user. The philosophical significance of these findings is being heatedly discussed, needless to say, often way too off the mark. Its critiques disagree with the very idea of philosophical theory being vulnerable to empirical findings, for in their eyes, philosophy is all about possibilities (or even necessities). We find them wrong.

We believe that philosophy shall describe the world as it is, and that the philosopher must take facts into account. We also find it efficient to consider empirical findings, particularly psychological or linguistical ones, in the process of philosophical argumentation (especially when it comes to philosophy of language and cognition). Overall, we share the assumptions of experimental philosophy.

Yet, we recognize the boldness of many experimental philosophers whose interpretations of the data seem far-fetched. In fact, some of it is only aimed at limiting the scope of the traditional philosophy. Our goal is to conduct empirical research combined with a ‘minimalistic’ approach to setting those limits. We seek to investigate – via means of empirical research – what is really being imposed by the facts, and what is but a pretentious empirical claim. After all, we do believe that some of the scientific discoveries demand changes in contemporary philosophical theories, but we are also well aware that many allegedly sensational results are actually in accordance with what philosophers had claimed.