Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘philosophical zombies

What Philosophers Believe

with 7 comments

The PhilPapers Survey was a survey of professional philosophers and others on their philosophical views, carried out in November 2009. The Survey was taken by 3226 respondents, including 1803 philosophy faculty members and/or PhDs and 829 philosophy graduate students. This has both a survey and a metasurvey that asked a smaller group to predict the results of the original survey. Shockingly, a full 69% percent of philosophers get the teleporter problem wrong:

Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?

Accept or lean toward: survival 337 / 931 (36.1%)
Other 304 / 931 (32.6%)
Accept or lean toward: death 290 / 931 (31.1%)

The consequentialist approach to the trolley problem turns out to have become hegemonic.

Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch or don’t switch?

Accept or lean toward: switch 635 / 931 (68.2%)
Other 225 / 931 (24.1%)
Accept or lean toward: don’t switch 71 / 931 (7.6%)

Also interesting: pluralities believe philosophical zombies are conceivable but not metaphysically possible (I concur) and rejects the terms of Newcomb’s Paradox (not sure what this can mean in practice). 73% are atheists.

All this and more via MeFi.