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Seyedsayamdost, Hamid. On Gender and Philosophical Intuition: Failure of Replication and Other Negative Results
2015, Philosophical Psychology 28 (5), 642-673
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Added by: Tomasz Zyglewicz, Shannon Brick, Michael Greer
Abstract: In their paper titled Gender and Philosophical Intuition, Wesley Buckwalter & Stephen Stich argue that the intuitions of women and men differ significantly on various types of philosophical questions. Furthermore, men’s intuitions, so the authors, are more in line with traditionally accepted solutions of classical problems. This inherent bias, so the argument, is one of the factors that leads more men than women to pursue degrees and careers in philosophy. These findings have received a considerable amount of attention and the paper is to appear in the second edition of Experiment Philosophy edited by Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols, which itself is an influential outlet. Given the exposure of these results, we attempted to replicate three of the classes of questions that Buckwalter & Stich review in their paper and for which they report significant differences. We failed to replicate the results using two different sources for data collection (one being identical to the original procedures). Given our results, we do not believe that the outcomes from Buckwalter & Stich (forthcoming) that we examined are robust. That is, men and women do not seem to differ significantly in their intuitive responses to these philosophical scenarios.

Comment (from this Blueprint): Hamid Seyedsayamdost presents the results of the replications of three classes of studies invoked by Buckwalter and Stich in support of the claim that philosophical intuitions vary across gender. Most of the studies fail to replicate the original results. Although the paper is rather technical in focus, working through (some parts of) it may help the readers better understand the methodology of x-phi and assess the credibility of results published in x-phi papers.

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