Of Joshua Knobe:
“From the beginning,” he says, “Nietzsche was inspirational to me. I was interested in working on the kinds of questions he was interested in: how people make moral judgments, how moral judgments affect the way we understand our world.” But while most Nietzsche scholars wrote essays on the philosopher’s work, Knobe continues, “I was interested in doing experiments to answer the questions that he asked.”
And what is one potential consequence of this approach?:
While much of the proposal authors’ work was “perfectly philosophically respectable,” the reviewer said, “a great deal of their interest lies in what I can only describe as the desire to eliminate morality (or at least the study of morality) from the discipline of philosophy itself.”
Much like Nietzsche, if you don’t find the problems of other philosophers to be important (or perhaps understand the depths of the problems they’re trying to address), make due with what you have. However, you leave a lot of problems unaddressed:
How do you reconcile the possibility of mathematical truth, or truth in the reasoning of great scientific thinkers? How do you explain the debt of both psychology and neuroscience to the hard sciences, yet ignore such a debt while using psychology and neuroscience to provide empirical evidence for your philosophical claims?
This is not to mention the radical consequences of applying Nietzsche to the intellectual and cultural traditions that we rely upon that sustain the law, for example…
“This is one of the best parts of experimental philosophy,” says John Mikhail, who teaches at the Georgetown University Law Center, and whose work translates people’s complex responses to moral thought experiments into algorithms. “Younger people are not taking ‘no’ for an answer.”
I’m concerned about what they leave out.
More on Experimental Philosophy here. Here’s Nietzsche scholar J.P. Stern on Nietzsche’s anti-Christian, anti-secular morality (Kant, utilitarians), anti-democratic, and anti-Greek (except the “heroic” Greek) biases…
Related On This Site: Another Note On Jesse Prinz’s “Constructive Sentimentalism” More On Jesse Prinz. A Review Of “The Emotional Construction Of Morals” At Notre Dame…Jesse Prinz Discusses “The Emotional Construction Of Morals” On Bloggingheads.…A Few Thoughts On Allan Bloom–The Nietzsche Connection