Philosophers May 4, 2013

Philosophers, a survey: “The Davids distributed their questionnaire to 1,972 philosophers at 99 of the world’s “leading departments of philosophy” (in this case, their target group comprised predominantly Ph.D.-granting departments in English speaking countries, giving rise to an acknowledged bias toward analytic or Anglocentric philosophy). The questionnaire consisted of a background survey, 30 multiple choice questions, and a metasurvey that asked philosphers to predict how their colleagues would weigh in. A little under half of the target faculty group completed the survey. Here are their responses:

1. A priori knowledge: yes 71.1%; no 18.4%; other 10.5%.
2. Abstract objects: Platonism 39.3%; nominalism 37.7%; other 23.0%.
3. Aesthetic value: objective 41.0%; subjective 34.5%; other 24.5%.
4. Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes 64.9%; no 27.1%; other 8.1%.
5. Epistemic justification: externalism 42.7%; internalism 26.4%; other 30.8%.
6. External world: non-skeptical realism 81.6%; skepticism 4.8%; idealism 4.3%; other 9.2%.
7. Free will: compatibilism 59.1%; libertarianism 13.7%; no free will 12.2%; other 14.9%.
8. God: atheism 72.8%; theism 14.6%; other 12.6%.
9. Knowledge claims: contextualism 40.1%; invariantism 31.1%; relativism 2.9%; other 25.9%.
10. Knowledge: empiricism 35.0%; rationalism 27.8%; other 37.2%.”

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