Abstracts of Invited Talks
On the attribution of intention and responsibility
What kind of action deserves praise and blame? Philosophers have addressed
this question more from theoretical point of view while economists are
particularly interested in the resulting incentives. We illustrate how
game theoretic concepts help to bridge the disciplines and to formalize
concepts that are important in how praise and blame are allocated. The
experimental philosopher Joshua Knobe conducted a questionnaire study that
revealed that people blame others for foreseen negative externalities but
do not praise them for foreseen positive ones. We translated the Knobe
questions into games and based on these games, we conducted an experiment.
We could confirm the Knobe effect in a particular parameter setting but
we found also settings in which the Knobe effect vanishes and even reverses.
In a second study, we investigate empirically how responsibility is attributed
in delegated decisions and suggest a theoretical notion of responsibility
that captures the empirical patterns of responsibility attribution.
Origin of Agent-Based Computational Economics:Agent-Based
Modeling of Economic Experiments
There are at least two origins of the current agent-based modeling in economics
or agent-based computational economics (ACE). The first one comes from von Neumann’s book
on Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata, which is known as the cellular automata tradition.
The pioneering applications of cellular automata to social sciences appeared in early 1970s,
including Sakoda (1971), Schelling (1971) and Albin (1975). This tradition is widely known for
computational social scientists, but many may not notice that, in his book, von Neumann made
strong attempt to tighten the relation between natural automata and artificial automata.
This intellectual effort not only well corresponded to his contemporary colleagues, such as
Alan Turing (Turing, 1951), but also foreshadowed many works coming later, including Simon,
(1969), Holland (1975) and, when coming to 1980s, also became the second origin of ACE, i.e.,
the experimental economics tradition. In this talk, I will give a review of this tradition, and
the four concepts of artificial automata, namely, programmed agents (Axelrod, 1984; Rust, Miller
and Palmer, 1993), calibrated artificial agents (Arthur, 1993), zero-intelligence agents (Gode
and Sunder, 1993), and autonomous agents (Holland, 1992). We would see how these four conceptions
of artificial agents are motivated by experimental economics. We continues to trace this tradition
to its recent developments in the continuous efforts made to bridge human agents and artificial agents.
The Relevance of Experimental Epistemology to Traditional Epistemology
James R. Beebe
Experimental epistemology is the use of the experimental methods of the
cognitive sciences to shed light on debates within epistemology, the philosophical
study of knowledge and rationally justified belief. A variety of misconceptions
about this experimental approach conspire to make it far more controversial
than it should be. For example, no experimental philosopher has ever claimed
that experimentation should completely replace philosophical theorizing.
Yet experimental philosophers are continually faced with the following
challenge by their would-be critics: “If we surveyed everyone and discovered
that they believe that skepticism is false (or that it’s rational to believe
in God, that we have free will, etc.), how is this fact supposed to put
an end to the centuries-old philosophical debate?” The simple answer is
“It is not.” The empirical data gathered by experimental philosophers is
supposed to inform rather than replace philosophical debate. Experimental
philosophers also do not claim that their methods and results will necessarily
be relevant to every area of philosophy. Yet it is common for critics to
try to think of areas of philosophical debate where experimentation would
not seem to be relevant and present them as evidence for the lack of worth
of experimental philosophy. However, consider the fact that no philosopher
would dream of offering the following argument: “Insights from modal logic
are not relevant to every area of philosophy; therefore, modal logic has
no value and should not be practiced.” It turns out that the experiments
being performed by experimental philosophers can shed light on surprisingly
wide swaths of philosophical debate, but there is no claim that they must
somehow be relevant to every dispute. What follows is an overview of the
main areas of epistemological debate to which experimental philosophers
have been contributing and the larger, philosophical challenges these contributions
Enriching the Framework of Experimental Philosophy
Despite its historical neglect, intuition is currently a scholarly focus in such a broad range of behavioural
and social sciences, as psychology, cognitive science, economics, education, medicine, management, and so forth.
Moreover, intuition is expected to be a ‘fundamental bridging construct’ (Hodgkinson et al., 2008) to unify inquiries in these areas.
Experimental philosophy – socio-experimental psychological research on intuitions about philosophical cases
– may be reckoned part of this fascinating, interdisciplinary movement. Little attention, however, has been paid,
in experimental philosophy, to the movement, since the prevailing practice of experimental philosophy
is mainly modeled on the heuristics and biases approach (HB), i.e., one, albeit paradigmatic, restrictive approach
to intuition among many. Thus, reconsidering the practice of experimental philosophy in light of other approaches to
intuition will suggest further possible directions it can take, or so I shall argue.
The talk consists of four parts. In Section 1, the concept(s) of intuition that both traditional and experimental
philosophers make use of is described. In Section 2, the two main positions in experimental philosophy, experimental
restrictivism (ER) and experimental descriptism (ES), are delineated. Then, I will describe the common framework shared
by ER and ES, which stems from HB. In addition, I reconstruct ER’s arguments against the evidential value of philosophical
intuition. The reconstruction reveals several commitments of ER. In Section 3, naturalistic decision making (NDM), another
prominent approach to intuition, is introduced and compared with HB. In Section 4, I will draw out implications of NDM for
experimental philosophy. In light of NDM, the framework of experimental philosophy may be enriched.