In a recent post, I discussed a new study showing that people's intuitions about Gettier cases are remarkably invariant across cultures. This post generated a whole lot of discussion on social media, and although most of this discussion was extremely helpful and well-informed, I worry that some of it betrays a confusion about what experimental philosophy is all about.
Some commenters seem to assume that it is somehow built into the mission of experimental philosophy as a field that part of its aim is to show that intuitions vary from one demographic group to the next and that appeals to intuitions are therefore methodologically suspect. As anyone who actually works in experimental philosophy will know, this assumption is wildly incorrect. The mission of experimental philosophy as a field is not argue for any one particular view but rather to systematically study these questions and find the truth about them, whatever that truth might be.
Consider again the particular case of research on the relationship between philosophical intuitions and demographic factors (ethnicity, gender, age, etc.). It is true that some experimental philosophy studies have suggested that people's intuitions vary with demographic factors, but there have also been a very large number of studies exploring the ways in which people's intuitions do not vary with these factors. In fact, my sense is that the majority of experimental philosophy studies on this topic actually come down on this second side, exploring ways in which people's intuitions are surprisingly invariant across demographic variables that one would have thought would make a difference.
To get a better sense for what has been going on in the field thus far, let's try to work together to make a list of the different studies on this topic and what they have shown.