Blog Coordinator

Knobe's X-Phi Page

X-Phi Grad Programs

« Call for Proposals: Advances in Experimental Philosophy Book Series | Main | The State of Amazon Mechanical Turk »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Catarina Dutilh Novaes

Good stuff, Josh! The lack of empirical grounding was an aspect that had always bothered me in 'classical' formal semantics, so I'm also happy to see the field heading in this direction.

I just want to put in a plug for the work of my former colleagues in Amsterdam, Katrin Schulz and Maria Aloni, who are also taking seriously the idea of 'testing' formal semantical theories empirically.

Joshua Knobe

Hi Catarina,

Thanks for writing! If there is anything you would like me to include from Schulz & Aloni, definitely let me know, and I'll add it in above.

Shen-yi Liao

Working with PhilPapers editors, including our own Wesley Buckwalter, I recently proposed an additional subcategory on this exact developing area. The subcategory is still very small right now, but it would be great for people to add their works to it and continue to grow it!

The link is .

Avery Andrews

The appearance of more rigorous experimental methods is welcome, but I think it's a mistake to suggest that the classic formal semantics methods were not empirical, albeit in a less formal way (people who have taught generative grammar know that students *do not* blindly accept the judgements produced by the lecturer). And it would have been ludicrous to expect the founders of formal semantics to spend a lot of time setting up experiments before finding out where the intuitive judgements were tricky and needed more careful investigations. We have different expectations of 0-10 year olds than of 45 year olds.

Joshua Knobe


Thanks for writing in. Just in case it wasn't clear before, I didn't at all intend to suggest that there was anything wrong with traditional, non-experimental work in formal semantics. All I meant to say was just that this new wave of experimental work has been an exciting addition to the more traditional approach.

Joshua Knobe

Hi Shen-yi,

This new philpapers subcategory is fantastic. I actually hadn't known about some of the papers that are up there, but looking through the list, a lot of them seem really interesting and highly worth reading.

Nat Hansen

Hi Josh,

Thanks for posting this! Lots of cool looking stuff out there. Just FYI, Emmanuel Chemla and I have run some experiments looking at the semantics of color adjectives and other scalar adjectives. Here's a link to a current draft:

Joshua Knobe

Hi Nat,

That paper looks great! I just added it to the post above.

The comments to this entry are closed.

3QD Prize 2012: Wesley Buckwalter