Using science and data points to test theories of morality 

Philosophy is no longer a field conducted entirely from the comfort of an armchair. Over the past decade, this notoriously abstract discipline has developed a branch of “experimental philosophy” that conducts its own scientific studies.

Though such work continues to face resistance from conventional armchair philosophers, there’s an increasing focus on using empirical studies in conjunction with philosophical thinking: One survey found that 62% of highly cited papers from 1960-1999 used a priori (purely reason-based) methods. From 2009 to 2013, just 12% of comparably cited papers used a priori thinking alone.

 The majority of these recent studies relied on existing empirical research, while a minority conducted their own original experiments.

For more see Goldhill: Philosophers are using science and data points to test theories of morality

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