Article

Philosophers on Philosophy: The 2020 PhilPapers Survey

Authors
  • David Bourget (Western University)
  • David J. Chalmers (New York University)

Abstract

What are the philosophical views of professional philosophers, and how do these views change over time?  The 2020 PhilPapers Survey surveyed around 2000 philosophers on 100 philosophical questions. The results provide a snapshot of the state of some central debates in philosophy, reveal correlations and demographic effects involving philosophers' views, and reveal some changes in philosophers' views over the last decade.

Keywords: survey, philpapers, demographic, correlations

How to Cite:

Bourget, D. & Chalmers, D. J., (2023) “Philosophers on Philosophy: The 2020 PhilPapers Survey”, Philosophers' Imprint 23: 11. doi: https://doi.org/10.3998/phimp.2109

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Published on
25 Jul 2023
Peer Reviewed

1. Introduction

What are the philosophical views of contemporary professional philosophers? And how do these views change over time?

In November 2009, we carried out the first PhilPapers Survey. We surveyed 931 philosophers from 99 philosophy departments in Australia, Canada, continental Europe, New Zealand, the US, and the UK on their answers to 30 philosophical questions. The results of this survey were published as “What Do Philosophers Believe?” (2014) and have been widely discussed.1

In October 2020, we carried out a follow-up survey: the 2020 PhilPapers Survey. It was intended to make at least three additional contributions.

First: the 2020 Survey allowed longitudinal comparisons of results in 2009 and 2020, giving information about how the views of professional philosophers have changed over time.

Second: the target population for the survey was enlarged from faculty members of 99 selected departments in a few selected countries to a broader group including philosophers from around the world who publish in English. This allows broader information about views within the English-speaking philosophical community.

Third: the list of questions was expanded from 30 questions to 100 questions, allowing information about a broader range of philosophical topics.

As we argued in “What Do Philosophers Believe?”, surveys like this can play at least three roles within philosophy. First, today’s sociology is tomorrow’s history, and these results may be of some use to future historians of philosophy. Second, philosophers often appeal to sociological claims about the distributions of views among philosophers, for example in justifying which views should be taken seriously, and it makes sense for these claims to be well-grounded. Third, if philosophy has any tendency to converge to the truth, then philosophers’ views might provide some guidance about the truth of philosophical views. It is not clear whether philosophy tends to converge to the truth, so we don’t make the third claim about guidance, but surveys can clearly play the first two roles in philosophical practice.

We begin by describing the methodology for the survey, including the target population and the questions. We then go on to discuss the main results of the 2020 survey, the longitudinal comparison to the 2009 survey, and relationships between answers to the survey. We end with a discussion of selection bias in the group of respondents and of correcting results to remove this bias.

2. Methodology

The PhilPapers Survey was conducted online from October 15, 2020 to November 16, 2020. Full details on the methods and the results can be found on the survey website at survey2020.philpeople.org.

2.1 Target population

In the 2009 survey, we were restricted to a relatively small group of departments for which we had faculty lists (mainly drawn from the Philosophical Gourmet Report’s faculty lists for ranked departments). In 2020, the PhilPeople database included information on philosophers and philosophy departments around the world (with strongest coverage on English-speaking and English-publishing philosophers), so we could survey a broader and more representative group.

After a period of consultation, we decided on a target group including:

(1) in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US: all regular faculty members (tenure-track or permanent) in BA-granting philosophy departments with four or more members (according to the PhilPeople database); and

(2) in all other countries: English-publishing philosophers in BA-granting philosophy departments with four or more English-publishing faculty members.

For the purposes of this study, we defined an English-publishing philosopher as someone with one or more publications (according to the PhilPapers database) in one of a wide range of English-language venues. We limited our coverage to English-publishing philosophers because we do not have adequate information on philosophers who do not publish in English, and because the majority of our questions are drawn from English-language traditions.

For meaningful longitudinal comparisons, we also designated a “2009-comparable departments” target group of 100 departments in the same regions as the 2009 survey, selected by similar criteria (all Ph.D.-granting departments with a 2017-2018 Philosophical Gourmet Report score of 1.9 or above, plus two leading departments with MA programs and a selected group of European departments based on expert recommendations). This group was used only for longitudinal comparisons.

We used data entry from departmental websites to supplement existing PhilPeople records and make our information as complete as possible. After data entry and cleanup, our target population included 7685 philosophers, including 6112 in group (1) and 1573 in group (2). The 2009-comparable target group included 2407 philosophers. The online data is imperfect, so our group of 7685 philosophers almost certainly excludes some philosophers who meet criterion (1) or (2) and includes some philosophers who do not.

Every member of the target group was sent an initial email invitation to take the survey, followed by additional email requests after approximately 10 days and 20 days if they had not yet responded.

2.2 Philosophical questions

In the 2009 survey, we asked 30 questions each with 2-4 answer options: for example, “God: theism or atheism?” and “Mind: physicalism or nonphysicalism?”.

In the 2020 survey, we used the 30 questions from the 2009 survey unaltered (although we made some answer options slightly more fine-grained, as discussed below), to allow meaningful longitudinal comparisons. We expanded the list of 30 questions to a list of 40 main questions that would be asked of all participants. We also added a further group of 60 additional (often more specialized) questions, each of which would be asked to one-sixth of participants (selected randomly). As a result, each participant was asked to answer a minimum of 50 questions (40 main questions and 10 additional questions). Participants were also given the option of answering some or all of the other 50 additional questions if they chose to, with a maximum of 100 philosophical questions per participant.

We determined the 70 new questions through an extended period of consultation, including consultation with PhilPapers editors and extended discussion on social media including PhilPeople, Facebook, and philosophy blogs. We also had a lengthy period of beta testing the survey questions and the survey interface with PhilPapers editors using the interface. We aimed for questions that covered many areas of philosophy, that worked in the multiple choice format, and that would be familiar to at least half of our target population.

The 100 resulting questions included approximately 50 questions drawn from metaphysics and epistemology (broadly construed), 30 questions drawn from value theory, 9 from the philosophy of science, logic, and mathematics, 6 from the history of philosophy, and 5 from metaphilosophy.

As in 2009, we did not include any questions drawn from non-Western and non-analytic traditions, as it proved too difficult to find questions from these traditions that met the familiarity and multiple-choice constraints. We attempted to include some new questions reflecting philosophy as it stands in 2020 (adding two questions each about gender and race, for example), but we acknowledge an overall bias toward certain relatively traditional issues in the analytic and English-speaking canons. In retrospect, we could have done more to reflect the diversity of contemporary philosophy. In future surveys, we will try to do so.

As in the earlier survey, we allowed respondents to indicate that they “accept” or “lean toward” a view, and we allowed a range of other options. The options are shown in Figure 1. We changed the 2009 answer options slightly to allow respondents more fine-grained options when endorsing multiple answers. Where the 2009 survey just had an option for “Accept both” (binary questions) or “Accept more than one” (ternary questions), the 2020 survey allowed respondents to accept, reject, or lean toward or against each answer separately if they chose to (as shown on Figure 2). We also allowed respondents to write in alternative answers if they chose to. Two questions, one about other minds and one about philosophical methods, were given special treatment because we didn’t expect a majority of respondents to choose a single answer to these questions. For these questions, respondents had to say whether they accept or reject each option individually as if they had selected “Evaluate multiple options”.

Figure 1:
Figure 1:
Figure 1: Example survey form for one philosophical question.
Figure 2:
Figure 2:
Figure 2: Selecting combinations of answers.

2.3 Philosophical orientation

Respondents were asked the following questions about their philosophical orientation:

Areas of specialization: Respondents had to choose from the following list of areas (the primary areas in the PhilPapers category system): 17th/18th Century Philosophy; 19th Century Philosophy; 20th Century Philosophy; Aesthetics; African/Africana Philosophy; Ancient Greek Philosophy; Applied Ethics; Asian Philosophy, Continental Philosophy; Decision Theory; Epistemology; European Philosophy; Feminist Philosophy; General Philosophy of Science; Logic and Philosophy of Logic; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy; Meta-ethics; Metaphilosophy; Metaphysics; Normative Ethics; Philosophy of Action; Philosophy of Biology; Philosophy of Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Computing and Information; Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality; Philos ophy of Language; Philosophy of Law; Philosophy of Mathematics; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy of Physical Science; Philosophy of Religion; Philosophy of Social Science; Philosophy of the Americas; and Social and Political Philosophy.

Philosophical tradition: As in 2009, respondents could choose either “analytic”, “continental”, or “other tradition”. When selecting “other tradition” they could enter a tradition as free text.

Identification with philosophers: Respondents were asked “For which nonliving philosophers X would you describe yourself or your work as X-ian, or the equivalent?” Respondents could choose from a list of well-known philosophers or select “other” to specify philosophers manually. The 2009 list was based on online surveys of the greatest philosophers of the last 200 years and of all time. It included: Anscombe, Aquinas, Aristotle, Augustine, Berkeley, Carnap, Davidson, Descartes, Frege, Hegel, Heidegger, Hobbes, Hume, Husserl, Kant, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Lewis, Locke, Marx, Mill, Moore, Nietzsche, Plato, Quine, Rawls, Rousseau, Russell, Socrates, Spinoza, and Wittgenstein. For 2020 we added Dewey, Foucault, James, Merleau-Ponty, Peirce, Popper, Reid, Rorty, Sellars, and Whitehead (the ten most popular write-in choices in 2009); Parfit and Putnam (the leading candidates per previous criteria who died since the previous survey); and Arendt, Avicenna, Beauvoir, Buddha, Confucius, Deleuze, Derrida, Du Bois, Laozi, Nagarjuna, Rand, Sartre, and Wollstonecraft (to expand coverage of other traditions).

2.4 Background questions

Respondents were also asked the following background questions: year of birth, nationality, gender, doctorate in philosophy (specifying the granting institution and year), and current affiliation (including role).

2.5 Consent

Under consent guidelines approved by The Western University Non-Medical Research Ethics Board, respondents were told how their answers would be used, and at the end of the survey were asked to consent to the use of their answers. The Survey was anonymous by default, although respondents were given the option to make their answers public eventually. Respondents were also told that their answers would be retained for use in possible follow-up surveys, and that any question could be skipped if they were uncomfortable in answering.

3. Main survey results

Of the main target population of 7685 philosophers, 1785 (23%) completed the survey. Of these, 522 completed exactly 50 questions, 925 completed all 100, and 338 answered 51-99 questions (see Figure 3). An additional 487 initially gave their consent but did not complete the survey.

Figure 3:
Figure 3:
Figure 3: Numbers of answers per respondent.

Of the 2009-comparable population of 2407 philosophers, 648 (27%) completed the survey. Of these, 193 completed exactly 50 questions, 116 completed 51-99, and 339 completed all 100.

The results presented below are results for all questions answered by all respondents who completed the survey (whether they completed 50 questions, 100 questions, or something in between). These results are therefore subject to possible selection bias both among respondents to the survey and among respondents who chose to complete more than 50 questions. We discuss and analyze these sorts of selection bias in Section 8.

3.1 Main questions

The results for the 40 main questions (those asked of all respondents) are shown in Table 1. For each question and each option, Table 1 presents the total number of respondents and the percentage who either “accept” or “lean toward” that option. This figure can be calculated either as an “inclusive” figure, where respondents who endorse multiple options are included in the totals for each options, or as an “exclusive” figure, which counts only respondents who endorse that option and no other option. We present inclusive figures in all cases. To simplify the table, we present exclusive figures only when at least one of them differs by 3% or more from inclusive figures. This gives some indication of questions for which choosing multiple options is popular. The last question shows respondents who reject options rather than exclusive numbers. The figures include all respondents who completed the survey except those who indicated “insufficiently familiar with the issue” or who skipped the question. The survey website offers a detailed breakdown of “other” answers.

Table 1:

Main questions: respondents who accept or lean toward each answer.

Questions and answers n % Exclusive
A priori knowledge
 Yes 1274 72.8
 No 323 18.5
 Other 152 8.7
Abstract objects
 Platonism 629 38.4
 Nominalism 686 41.9
 Other 323 19.7
Aesthetic value
 Objective 740 43.5 683 40.2
 Subjective 690 40.6 632 37.2
 Other 322 18.9
Aim of philosophy (which is most important?)
 Truth/knowledge 747 42.2 313 17.7
 Understanding 988 55.8 524 29.6
 Wisdom 552 31.2 178 10.1
 Happiness 224 12.6 24 1.4
 Goodness/justice 402 22.7 55 3.1
 Other 191 10.8
Analytic-synthetic distinction
 Yes 1064 62.5
 No 439 25.8
 Other 203 11.9
Eating animals and animal products (is it permissible to eat animals and/or animal products in ordinary circumstances?)
 Omnivorism (yes and yes) 847 48.0
 Vegetarianism (no and yes) 467 26.5
 Veganism (no and no) 324 18.4
 Other 174 9.9
Epistemic justification
 Internalism 579 35.7 493 30.4
 Externalism 819 50.5 735 45.3
 Other 292 18.0
Experience machine (would you enter?)
 Yes 219 13.3
 No 1262 76.9
 Other 160 9.7
External world
 Idealism 117 6.6
 Skepticism 96 5.4
 Non-skeptical realism 1403 79.5
 Other 172 9.8
Footbridge (pushing man off bridge will save five on track below, what ought one do?)
 Push 382 22.0
 Don’t push 975 56.0
 Other 382 22.0
Free will
 Compatibilism 1040 59.2
 Libertarianism 331 18.8
 No free will 197 11.2
 Other 200 11.4
Gender
 Biological 480 29.0 250 15.1
 Psychological 356 21.5 71 4.3
 Social 1043 63.1 711 43.0
 Unreal 70 4.2 27 1.6
 Other 245 14.8
God
 Theism 335 18.9
 Atheism 1185 66.9
 Other 248 14.0
Knowledge claims
 Contextualism 805 54.6
 Relativism 80 5.4
 Invariantism 376 25.5
 Other 241 16.4
Knowledge
 Empiricism 756 43.9 642 37.3
 Rationalism 577 33.5 461 26.8
 Other 475 27.6
Laws of nature
 Humean 486 31.3
 Non-humean 844 54.3
 Other 231 14.9
Logic
 Classical 759 53.6 689 48.7
 Non-classical 374 26.4 308 21.8
 Other 342 24.2
Meaning of life
 Subjective 570 33.0 489 28.3
 Objective 553 32.1 476 27.6
 Nonexistent 278 16.1 257 14.9
 Other 407 23.6
Mental content
 Internalism 399 26.4 332 21.9
 Externalism 880 58.1 815 53.8
 Other 297 19.6
Meta-ethics
 Moral realism 1067 62.1
 Moral anti-realism 449 26.1
 Other 202 11.8
Metaphilosophy
 Naturalism 777 50.2
 Non-naturalism 482 31.1
 Other 296 19.1
Mind
 Physicalism 900 51.9
 Non-physicalism 556 32.1
 Other 276 15.9
Moral judgment
 Cognitivism 1133 69.3
 Non-cognitivism 339 20.7
 Other 169 10.3
Moral motivation
 Internalism 586 41.0
 Externalism 562 39.3
 Other 315 22.0
Newcomb’s problem
 One box 334 31.2
 Two boxes 418 39.0
 Other 323 30.2
Normative ethics
 Deontology 558 32.1 343 19.7
 Consequentialism 532 30.6 373 21.4
 Virtue ethics 644 37.0 436 25.0
 Other 316 18.2
Perceptual experience
 Disjunctivism 207 15.6 183 13.8
 Qualia theory 200 15.1 176 13.3
 Representationalism 520 39.3 478 36.1
 Sense-datum theory 66 5.0 5i 3.9
 Other 372 28.1
Personal identity
 Biological view 308 19.1 252 15.6
 Psychological view 705 43.7 637 39.4
 Further-fact view 240 14.9 216 13.4
 Other 429 26.6
Philosophical progress (is there any?)
 None 68 3.8
 A little 827 46.6
 A lot 740 41.7
 Other 149 8.4
Political philosophy
 Communitarianism 419 27.3 339 22.1
 Egalitarianism 677 44.0 588 38.3
 Libertarianism 206 13.4 158 10.3
 Other 315 20.5
Proper names
 Fregean 458 36.1
 Millian 491 38.7
 Other 323 25.5
Race
 Biological 308 18.7 189 11.5
 Social 1046 63.4 871 52.8
 Unreal 248 15.0 188 11.4
 Other 219 13.3
Science
 Scientific realism 1222 72.4
 Scientific anti-realism 254 15.0
 Other 217 12.8
Teletransporter (new matter)
 Survival 555 35.2
 Death 631 40.1
 Other 390 24.8
Time
 A-theory 306 27.2
 B-theory 429 38.2
 Other 406 36.2
Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?)
 Switch 1101 63.4
 Don’t switch 231 13.3
 Other 407 23.4
Truth
 Correspondence 844 51.4 794 48.3
 Deflationary 403 24.5 365 22.2
 Epistemic 167 10.2 144 8.8
 Other 276 16.8
Vagueness
 Epistemic 346 24.2 233 16.3
 Metaphysical 298 20.8 217 15.2
 Semantic 746 52.1 609 42.6
 Other 223 15.6
Zombies
 Inconceivable 264 16.4
 Conceivable but not posssible 588 36.5
 Metaphysically possible 393 24.4
 Other 362 22.5
Philosophical methods (which methods are the most useful/important?) Reject option
 Conceptual analysis 1229 70.9 201 11.6
 Conceptual engineering 684 39.5 357 20.6
 Empirical philosophy 1040 60.0 251 14.5
 Experimental philosophy 565 32.6 623 35.9
 Formal philosophy 962 55.5 223 12.9
 Intuition-based philosophy 857 49.5 503 29.0
 Linguistic philosophy 800 46.2 373 21.5
 Other 124 7.2

The figures in Table 1 should not be longitudinally compared to the main results presented in the 2009 PhilPapers Survey paper, for three main reasons. First, the 2020 population is much broader (not restricted to 99 departments). Second, the 2020 survey made it easier to endorse multiple answers than the 2009 survey. Third, the main results presented in the 2009 paper included respondents who skipped the question or checked “insufficiently familiar”, whereas the results below exclude those respondents. For meaningful longitudinal comparisons, see Section 5, where we present 2020 results that are more directly comparable to the 2009 results (restricting to 2009-comparable departments, exclusive answers, and including skip/unfamiliar answers under “other”).

Among the 40 main questions, views mentioned most often as alternative answers (according to a semi-automated analysis) included: abstract objects: Aristotelian realism (24 respondents, or 1.5%); aesthetic value: intersubjective (25); knowledge: pragmatism (30), knowledge: Kantian (25), God: agnosticism (23); logic: pluralism (35); normative ethics: pluralism (31), normative ethics: particularism (23), perceptual experience: direct realism (23), perceptual experience: phenomenological (20), philosophical methods: phenomenology (30), truth: pragmatism (26). More information on combined and alternative answers can be found on the survey website on the pages presenting detailed results for each question.

Main questions for which combined answers were the most popular include: aim of philosophy (27%), gender (20%), normative ethics (15%), race (10%), knowledge (8%), political philosophy (8%), and vagueness (8%).

The “pluralism” answers in the cases of logic and normative ethics (as well as numerous cases discussed in the next section) bring out that pluralist views were often expressed as alternative answers (choosing “Alternative view” and then endorsing pluralism) rather than as combined answers (choosing “Evaluate multiple options”, and then endorsing multiple views). On the logic question, for example, 76 respondents endorsed a combined answer (accepting or leaning toward both classical and nonclassical logic) while 35 endorsed pluralism as an alternative answer. Insofar as pluralism can be considered a combined view, a consequence is that combined answer numbers alone may somewhat understate the popularity of combined views, and information on both alternative and combined answers is required for a full analysis.2

3.2 Additional questions

The results for the additional questions are found in Table 2. Of the 60 additional questions, one-sixth of the 1785 respondents, or about 300 respondents, were presented with the question as part of their mandatory 50 questions. Typically, another 800 respondents (45%) were presented with the question by answering additional questions, for a total of around 1100 respondents (62%) presented with the question. The figures below include these respondents, excluding those who chose to skip the question or who indicated “insufficiently familiar”. As before, the results are subject to selection bias, which is discussed in Section 8.

Table 2:

Additional questions: respondents who accept or lean toward each answer.

Questions and answers n % Exclusive
Abortion (first trimester, no special circumstances)
 Permissible 917 81.7
 Impermissible 147 13.1
 Other 61 54
Aesthetic experience
 Perception 193 28.2 171 25.0
 Pleasure 97 14.2 76 11.1
 Sui generis 255 37.2 245 35.8
 Other 167 24.4
Analysis of knowledge
 Justified true belief 242 23.6
 Other analysis 330 32.2
 No analysis 314 30.6
 Other 142 13.9
Arguments for theism (which argument is strongest?)
 Cosmological 214 20.9 170 16.6
 Design 181 17.7 142 13.9
 Ontological 91 8.9 70 6.8
 Pragmatic 146 14.2 119 11.6
 Moral 96 94 65 6.3
 Other 258 25.2
Belief or credence (which is more fundamental?)
 Belief 237 30.6
 Credence 242 31.3
 Neither 151 19.5
 Other 149 19.3
Capital punishment
 Permissible 199 17.7
 Impermissible 843 75.1
 Other 80 7.1
Causation
 Counterf actual/diff.-making 332 37.2 298 33.4
 Process/production 201 22.5 167 18.7
 Primitive 183 20.5 169 18.9
 Nonexistent 37 4.1 34 3.8
 Other 184 20.6
Chinese room
 Understands 184 17.8
 Doesn’t understand 692 67.1
 Other 154 14.9
Concepts
 Nativism 241 28.1 200 23.3
 Empiricism 432 50.3 387 45.1
 Other 215 25.1
Consciousness
 Dualism 224 22.0 204 20.0
 Eliminativism 46 4.5 39 3.8
 Functionalism 337 33.0 301 29.5
 Identity theory 136 13.3 117 11.5
 Panpsychism 77 7.5 62 6.1
 Other 232 22.7
Continuum hypothesis (does it have a determinate truth-value?)
 Determinate 180 37.7
 Indeterminate 137 28.7
 Other 161 33.7
Cosmological fine-tuning (what explains it?)
 Design 140 17.3
 Multiverse 122 15.1
 Brute fact 259 32.1
 No fine-tuning 175 21.7
 Other 144 17.8
Environmental ethics
 Anthropocentric 376 42.2
 Non-anthropocentric 451 50.7
 Other 79 8.9
Extended mind
 Yes 488 51.3
 No 353 37.1
 Other 112 11.8
Foundations of mathematics
 Constructivism/intuitionism 92 15.3 82 13.7
 Formalism 37 6.2 31 5.2
 Logicism 71 11.8 62 10.3
 Structuralism 127 21.2 107 17.8
 Set-theoretic 92 15.3 78 13.0
 Other 206 34.3
Gender categories
 Preserve 201 20.4
 Revise 500 50.9
 Eliminate 160 16.3
 Other 150 15.3
Grounds of intentionality
 Causal/teleological 249 34.7 214 29.8
 Inferential 68 9.5 48 6.7
 Interpretational 108 15.1 87 12.1
 Phenomenal 90 12.6 72 10.0
 Primitive 98 13.7 89 12.4
 Other 160 22.3
Hard problem of consciousness (is there one?)
 Yes 623 62.4
 No 297 29.8
 Other 79 7.9
Human genetic engineering
 Permissible 680 64.2
 Impermissible 206 19.5
 Other 171 16.1
Hume (what is his view?)
 Skeptic 318 36.5 252 28.9
 Naturalist 479 54.9 413 47.4
 Other 138 15.8
Immortality (would you choose it?)
 Yes 500 44.9
 No 460 41.3
 Other 151 13.6
Inter level metaphysics (which is the most useful?)
 Grounding 218 29.1 167 22.3
 Identity 86 11.5 51 6.8
 Realization 157 21.0 106 14.2
 Supervenience 185 24.7 138 18.4
 Other 212 28.3
Justification
 Coherentism 225 23.7 182 19.2
 Infinitism 19 2.0 14 1.5
 Nonreliabilist foundationalism 239 25.2 207 21.8
 Reliabilism 319 33.6 274 28.8
 Other 207 21.8
Kant (what is his view?)
 One world 328 45.4
 Two worlds 252 34.9
 Other 145 20.1
Law
 Legal positivism 244 39.5
 Legal non-positivism 278 45
 Other 99 16
Material composition
 Nihilism 47 8.2
 Restrictivism 201 35
 Universalism 157 27.4
 Other 173 30.1
Metaontology
 Heavyweight realism 272 38.6
 Deflationary realism 198 28.1
 Anti-realism 84 11.9
 Other 152 21.6
Method in history of philosophy (which do you prefer?)
 Analytic/rational reconstruction 569 60.8 402 42.9
 Contextual/historicist 416 44.4 251 26.8
 Other 112 12
Method in political philosophy (which do you prefer?)
 Ideal theory 255 32.4 176 22.4
 Non-ideal theory 456 58 377 48
 Other 148 18.8
Mind uploading (brain replaced by digital emulation)
 Survival 279 27.5
 Death 551 54.2
 Other 187 18.4
Moral principles
 Moral generalism 537 54.6
 Moral particularism 332 33.7
 Other 127 12.9
Morality
 Non-naturalism 272 26.6 248 24.2
 Naturalist realism 324 31.6 288 28.1
 Constructivism 213 20.8 181 17.7
 Expressivism 109 10.6 84 8.2
 Error theory 54 5.3 40 3.9
 Other 119 11.6
Normative concepts (which is most fundamental?)
 Fit 63 7.3 43 5.0
 Ought 122 14.2 91 10.6
 Reasons 219 25.4 185 21.5
 Value 322 37.4 282 32.8
 Other 211 24.5
Ought implies can
 Yes 682 62.9
 No 307 28.3
 Other 98 9
Philosophical knowledge (is there any?)
 None 40 3.6
 A little 361 32.5
 A lot 624 56.2
 Other 90 8.1
Plato (what is his view?)
 Knowledge only of forms 335 52.8
 Knowledge also of concrete things 179 28.2
 Other 122 19.2
Politics
 Capitalism 323 29.5 286 26.1
 Socialism 580 53.0 532 48.6
 Other 211 19.3
Possible worlds
 Abstract 583 54.8
 Concrete 49 4.6
 Nonexistent 319 30.0
 Other 116 10.9
Practical reason
 Aristotelian 344 38.7 305 34.3
 Humean 272 30.6 251 28.3
 Kantian 168 18.9 141 15.9
 Other 143 16.1
Principle of sufficient reason
 True 336 35.9
 False 428 45.7
 Other 173 18.5
Properties
 Classes 89 11.5
 Immanent universals 160 20.6
 Transcendent universals 154 19.8
 Tropes 119 15.3
 Nonexistent 63 8.1
 Other 226 29.1
Propositional attitudes
 Dispositional 250 3i.5 205 25.8
 Phenomenal 55 6.9 35 44
 Representational 369 46.5 325 40.9
 Nonexistent 28 3.5 26 3.3
 Other 150 18.9
Propositions
 Sets 68 8.4
 Structured entities 311 38.3
 Simple entities 56 6.9
 Acts 66 8.1
 Nonexistent 125 15.4
 Other 203 25.0
Quantum mechanics
 Collapse 95 17.1 82 14.7
 Hidden-variables 122 21.9 104 18.7
 Many-worlds 108 19.4 95 17.1
 Epistemic 71 12.8 63 11.3
 Other 178 32.0
Race categories
 Preserve 77 8.2
 Revise 305 32.3
 Eliminate 381 40.4
 Other 196 20.8
Rational disagreement (can two people with the same evidence rationally disagree?)
 Non-permissivism 193 19.4
 Permissivism 698 70.2
 Other 104 10.5
Response to external-world skepticism (which is strongest?)
 Abductive 206 22.1 160 17.2
 Contextualist 100 10.7 72 7.7
 Dogmatist 125 13.4 94 10.1
 Epistemic externalist 176 18.9 136 14.6
 Semantic externalist 78 8.4 50 54
 Pragmatic 212 22.8 170 18.3
 Other 160 17.2
Semantic content (which expressions are context-dependent?)
 Minimalism (no more than a few) 73 94
 Moderate contextualism (intermediate) 409 52.5
 Radical contextualism (most or all) 199 25.5
 Other 102 13.1
Sleeping beauty (woken once if heads, woken twice if tails, credence in heads on waking?)
 One-third 119 27.7
 One-half 80 18.6
 Other 229 534
Spacetime
 Relationism 284 454
 Substantivalism 172 27.5
 Other 169 27.0
Statue and lump
 One thing 288 30.1
 Two things 400 41.8
 Other 269 28.1
Temporal ontology
 Presentism 135 18.4
 Eternalism 293 39.9
 Growing block 125 17.0
 Other 183 24.9
Theory of reference
 Causal 406 46.3 360 41.0
 Descriptive 194 22.1 149 17.0
 Deflationary 132 15.1 123 14.0
 Other 189 21.6
Time travel
 Metaphysically possible 401 42.3
 Metaphysically impossible 389 41.0
 Other 158 16.7
True contradictions
 Impossible 660 71.4
 Possible but non-actual 44 4.8
 Actual 115 12.4
 Other 108 11.7
Units of selection
 Genes 297 43.5 225 33.0
 Organisms 294 43.1 223 32.7
 Other 159 23.3
Values in science (is ideal scientific reasoning necessarily sensitive or insensitive to non-epistemic values?)
 Necessarily value-free 170 17.7
 Necessarily value-laden 423 44.0
 Can be either 299 31.1
 Other 69 7.2
Well-being
 Hedonism/experientialism 123 12.7 98 10.1
 Desire satisfaction 180 18.6 146 15.1
 Objective list 514 53.2 483 49.9
 Other 194 20.1
Wittgenstein (which do you prefer?)
 Early 237 24.6 200 20.8
 Late 554 57.5 515 53.5
 Other 166 17.2
Other minds (for which groups are some members conscious?) Reject option
 Adult humans 1039 95.1 2 0.2
 Cats 967 88.6 43 3.9
 Fish 713 65.3 161 14.7
 Flies 377 34.5 419 38.4
 Worms 264 24.2 509 46.6
 Plants 79 7.2 870 79.7
 Particles 22 2.0 973 89.1
 Newborn babies 921 84.3 53 4.9
 Current AI systems 37 3.4 900 82.4
 Future AI systems 428 39.2 293 26.8
 Other 51 4.7

Additional questions for which combined answers were the most popular include: arguments for theism (18%), method in history (15%), response to skepticism (8%), method in political philosophy (7%), Wittgenstein (7%), and units of selection (7%).

Views mentioned most often as alternative answers included: arguments for theism: none (32 respondents, or 3.2%), consciousness: hylomorphism (12 respondents), foundations of mathematics: Platonism (15), method in history of philosophy: both (15), method in political philosophy: both (13), statue and lump: nihilism (10), units of selection: multilevel selection (29), units of selection: groups (11), well-being: hybrid (13), Wittgenstein: neither (29), Wittgenstein: both (14). As in the previous section, it is evident that combined views (e.g. “both”, “hybrid”, “multilevel”) were often expressed by alternative answers as well as by combined answers.

4. Demographics

4.1 Geography

Each respondent is associated with up to three countries: nationality, country of PhD, country of affiliation. The nationalities, countries of primary affiliation, countries of PhD of respondents can be found in Tables 3a, 3b, and 4, respectively. The USA is far ahead on all three lists, followed by the UK, followed by Australia, Canada, and Germany in varying orders, and then numerous European countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. The leading non-European countries (aside from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US) were Israel, Brazil, and Colombia (nationality); and Israel, Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Mexico (affiliation).

Table 3:

Countries.

(a) Nationality. (b) Primary affiliation.
Nationality n Country of affiliation n
USA 859 USA 1004
UK 163 UK 203
Canada 127 Canada 123
Germany 89 Australia 73
Australia 59 Germany 56
Italy 38 Sweden 34
Sweden 29 Netherlands 34
New Zealand 24 Italy 24
Netherlands 22 Spain 23
Spain 20 New Zealand 20
Israel 18 Israel 18
Belgium 13 Norway 15
France 13 Brazil 12
Denmark 12 Switzerland 12
Poland 11 Singapore 12
Switzerland 11 Hong Kong 12
Ireland 11 Belgium 11
Norway 10 Denmark 10
Austria 9 Austria 10
Brazil 9 France 10
Finland 7 Poland 9
Colombia 6 Ireland 8
Romania 5 South Africa 6
Portugal 5 Mexico 5
Greece 5 Other 44
Other 64 No answer 13
No answer 146
Table 4:

Country of PhD.

Country of PhD n
USA 835
UK 162
Australia 51
Canada 49
Germany 40
Netherlands 17
Sweden 14
Spain 10
Belgium 8
Italy 6
Switzerland 5
Other 30
No answer 540

4.2 Gender and age.

Just over 20% of respondents who indicated gender indicated “female”, while about .5% indicated “other”, with the rest indicating “male”. The number of female respondents who completed the survey is slightly lower than numbers in previously reported gender distributions (see Leslie et al. (2015), Schwitzgebel & Cushman (2012), Schwitzgebel & Cushman (2015)). As seen in Table 13 in Section 8, there appears to be a small gender effect in response bias.

The most common decade of birth was the 1970s (500), followed by the 1980s (424) and the 1960s (395). Figure 4 shows the breakdown of years of birth in slices of five years, with genders color-coded. The gender imbalance appears to be somewhat smaller among the youngest respondents.

Figure 4:
Figure 4:
Figure 4: Breakdown of years of birth and gender.

4.3 Philosophical orientation

The most common areas of specialization (in order) were epistemology, metaphysics, normative ethics, and philosophy of mind. A large majority of respondents specified an analytic orientation, followed by a continental orientation and write-in choices including pragmatism, history, and a number identifying with multiple orientations. On identification with nonliving philosophers, the leaders included Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Wittgenstein, Lewis, and Quine, with many write-in options included (see Table 7).

Table 5:

Gender.

Gender n
Male 1365
Female 357
Prefer not to say 25
Other gender 9
No answer 29
Table 6:

Philosophical traditions.

Philosophical traditions Respondents
Analytic 1430
Other tradition 169
Continental 113
Both 17
Pragmatism 13
History 5
Aristotelian 3
No answer 73
Table 7:

Philosophers most identified with.

Aristotle (238) Davidson (44) Sellars (16)
Hume (221) Leibniz (41) Nagarjuna (15)
Kant (188) Anscombe (39) Du Bois (13)
Wittgenstein (117) Nietzsche (39) Rorty (13)
Lewis (117) Moore (39) Sartre (13)
Quine (107) Hegel (38) Berkeley (12)
Frege (95) Heidegger (34) Austin (9)
Carnap (80) Locke (33) Wollstonecraft (9)
Russell (80) Husserl (33) Grice (8)
Plato (74) Spinoza (32) Derrida (8)
Rawls (71) Reid (32) Whitehead (7)
Mill (67) Merleau-Ponty (28) Rousseau (7)
Aquinas (56) Foucault (27) Sidgwick (7)
Marx (52) Beauvoir (26) Confucius (7)
Socrates (49) Peirce (26) Ramsey (6)
Descartes (48) Augustine (23) Buddha (6)
James (47) Kierkegaard (22) Zhuangzi (6)
Parfit (46) Arendt (18) Schopenhauer (6)
Dewey (45) Popper (18) Deleuze (5)
Putnam (44) Hobbes (16) Dummett (5)

5. Longitudinal analysis

This section compares the 2020 and 2009 results with respect to their 30 shared questions. The longitudinal results discussed in this section can be found in Table 18 in Appendix A.

For the purpose of longitudinal comparison, we restricted the 2020 results to the target group of 100 2009-comparable departments in Australasia, Europe, and North America. As explained in Section 2, the 2009-comparable departments were selected using ranking criteria analogous to those used in the 2009 survey.

It should be noted that the 2009-comparable department group differs systematically from the broader target population in a number of respects. Demographically, it includes a higher proportion of UK-based philosophers and analytic-tradition philosophers than the target population. Philosophically, it includes a lower proportion of theists, along with many other differences evident in comparing the 2020 results in Table 1 (all departments) to the results under “Comparable departments” in Table 18.

Figure 5:
Figure 5:
Figure 5: Areas of specialization.

For longitudinal purposes, we use “exclusive” rather than “inclusive” answer figures: that is, we exclude respondents who endorse multiple options. Exclusive answers were used in presenting our 2009 results, so using them here maximizes continuity with existing results. Furthermore, inclusive answers were handled somewhat differently in 2009 and 2020, so using exclusive answers maximizes comparability of the results. Using them should make no difference to relative results on binary questions (though absolute results are lower in some cases, as multiple options could be chosen more easily in 2020 than in 2009). On non-binary questions, this method sets aside fine-grained information about respondents who endorse some but not all of the options; but since this fine-grained information was not available in the 2009 survey, it would be hard to use it for longitudinal purposes. We have also included “skip” and “insufficiently familiar” answers as “other” answers in this context, to maximize continuity with how results were presented in 2009.

Our main longitudinal measure is the swing toward or against a position on the survey, defined as its relative strength in 2020 minus its relative strength in 2009. The relative strength of a position on a survey is defined as the percentage of respondents who endorse it exclusively, minus the average percentage of respondents who endorse some option exclusively (averaged across all options). For example, in a binary question, if 50% of respondents endorse X exclusively, and 30% of respondents endorse Y exclusively, the relative strength of X is 10% (50% - 40%) and the relative strength of Y is −10% (30% - 40%). The swing is then the change in these relative strengths over time. There is no perfect measure of swing when more than two options are present, but our definition has the nice feature that all swings on a given question sum to zero. Furthermore, in cases where all positions increase or decrease by the same amount (5%, say), as discussed above, the swing toward each position will be zero. The biggest swings toward any position from 2009 to 2020 are shown in Table 8.

Table 8:

Largest swings from 2009 to 2020 across comparable departments.

Answer Swing
Knowledge claims: invariantism −7.5
Logic: non-classical 6.7
Knowledge claims: contextualism 5.1
Moral motivation: externalism 4.4
A priori knowledge: yes 4.3
Laws of nature: Humean 4.3
Free will: compatibilism 3.5
Truth: correspondence −3.4
Aesthetic value: subjective 3.4
Trolley problem: don’t switch 3.1

The biggest swings in the 2020 survey are away from invariantism and toward contextualism about knowledge claims, and toward non-classical logic, externalism about moral motivation, a priori knowledge, and Humeanism about laws of nature. Changes can be divided into swings toward a majority view (contextualism, a priori knowledge, free will compatibilism) and swings toward a minority view (moral externalism, Humeanism, subjective aesthetic value, trolley non-switching). For binary questions, these swings are accompanied by a corresponding swing away from the alternative minority views (a priori knowledge: no) or majority view (moral internalism, non-Humeanism, objective aesthetic value, trolley switching). Among non-binary questions, the largest swings away include swings away from a minority view (invariantism) and a majority view (correspondence theory of truth). In two cases the majority (or at least plurality) view changed: from an objective to a subjective view of aesthetic value, and from internalism to externalism about moral motivation.

Our data also allows longitudinal comparisons over the same people in 2009 and 2020: that is, over respondents in the 2009 target group who also responded in 2020 (regardless of whether they were in the target group in 2020). We have included these “same people” results with a corresponding swing, to shed light on the issue of how individual views may change over time. The biggest swings for this longitudinal comparison can be found in Table 9. Most swings are under 2%, which tends to confirm the oft-reported impression that philosophers do not commonly change their views.

Table 9:

Largest swings from 2009 to 2020 across the same people (target 2009 respondents who also responded in 2020).

Answer Swing
Trolley problem: don’t switch 5.9
Knowledge claims: invariantism −54
Logic: non-classical 4.8
Normative ethics: virtue ethics 4.4
Moral judgment: non-cognitivism 4.2
Knowledge claims: contextualism 4.1
Normative ethics: consequentialism −4.0
Free will: no free will −4.0
Abstract objects: Platonism 3.9
Zombies: metaphysically possible 3.1

In order to better understand relationships between institutional and personal changes in views, we computed swing numbers for departments excluding the individuals who answered both surveys (institutional swings) and plotted them against swing numbers for individuals who answered both surveys (personal swings). Figure 6 shows a scatter plot of these swings, with the correlations of positions with year of birth color-coded. As might be expected, we can see that institutional swings are sometimes importantly different from personal swings: for example, there is an institutional swing toward a priori knowledge but a personal swing against, while the reverse is true for metaphilosophical naturalism. In these cases and many other (but not all) cases, views with higher institutional swings relative to personal swings are also views that are more popular with younger voters. This suggests that, as one might expect, much but not all of the difference between institutional and personal swings is due to popularity among younger faculty members who did not take the 2009 survey.

Figure 6:
Figure 6:
Figure 6: Institutional-ex-personal-swing vs personal swing.

We can also measure longitudinal changes in demographic and background questions in the 2009-comparable target group. It should be noted that these increases and decreases may reflect changes from 2009 to 2020 in respondent bias (see Section 8) rather than changes in the profession. The number of respondents specifying “female” rose from 17.4% to 22%. The most common decade of birth shifted from the 1960s to the 1970s. Respondents were more often Canadian-born, more often Australian-affiliated, and more often had a UK Ph.D. Areas of specialization with the largest relative increases included (in order) applied ethics, philosophy of cognitive science, social and political philosophy, normative ethics, and epistemology. Areas with the largest relative decreases included philosophy of physical science, ancient Greek philosophy, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of religion, 19th century philosophy, and 17th/18th century philosophy. Identification with the continental tradition was down from 3.8% to 1.8%. Philosophers with the largest relative increases in identification include Descartes, Lewis, Leibniz, and Marx, while those with largest relative decreases include Davidson, Wittgenstein, Locke, and Hegel.

The survey website includes some further longitudinal comparisons, including comparisons across “same departments” (the 99 target departments from 2009, compared across 2009 and 2020). It also includes comparisons using “weighted scores” (0 for rejecting a view, .25 for leaning against it, .5 for other, .75 for leaning toward it, 1 for accepting it). These scores are more fine-grained than the percentages used elsewhere, which in effect assign 0 for the first three options and 1 for the last two.

6. Correlations

One of the aims of this survey was to get a clearer sense of relationships between philosophical views within the target population. The most highly significant correlations between survey answers can be found in Tables 19-25 in Appendix B. More correlations are available on the survey’s website.

These correlations were calculated as follows. We first assigned a numerical variable for each main answer option (e.g., mind: physicalism or mind: non-physicalism) to a philosophical question. For each respondent, this variable was assigned a value ranging from −2 to 2 depending on whether the respondent rejects, leans toward rejecting, is neutral on (including “agnostic” answers), leans toward accepting, or accepts the position corresponding to the option. When a respondent selects “accept: X” or “lean toward: X” in the main interface without evaluating multiple options, we consider that they also reject or lean against the other options respectively. When they evaluate multiple options, we use those evaluations separately. Respondents who gave answers falling under “other” but that are not considered neutral were left out of correlation calculations for all relevant pairs of variables.

For binary questions, we have included correlation results for only one main answer option (the first option listed in Table 1, e.g. mind: physicalism). The second option (e.g. mind: non-physicalism) is usually strongly anti-correlated with the first, so correlations here will have a similar magnitude in the opposite direction.

For most non-binary questions, we consider correlation results for all main answer options, but a few questions were given a special treatment. The “other minds” question, which asked respondents to say whether they accept that entities of various levels of complexity have consciousness (AI systems and living things from plants to humans), was split into two questions: consciousness in living things and consciousness in AI systems. We assigned respondents a single numerical answer to the first question based on the most complex living things to which they assigned consciousness. We assigned respondents a numerical answer to the second question based on the most advanced AI systems to which they assigned consciousness. Answers to the three-option questions “philosophical knowledge” and “philosophical progress” were similarly converted to a linear scale.

For demographic and orientation questions, each possible answer (e.g., “AOS: Feminist philosophy”) was assigned a variable whose value is 2 for a respondent who selected that answer, 0 for respondents who specified another answer, and N/A for respondents who skipped the question.

7. Dimensionality reduction and clustering

We performed component and cluster analyses to get a clearer sense of the extent to which answers to the main questions can be distilled to a smaller number of underlying views. These results should be taken with a grain of salt, as they are heavily dependent on which questions and topics are included in the survey.

Our principal component analysis used only one of the numerical variables described in the preceding section for each question, so a total of 101 variables (for non-binary questions, we selected the variable corresponding to the most popular option).3 As shown in Figure 7, we found that a few principal components can explain a modest amount of variance. Six components explain 2% or more of the variance each. The two first components explain considerable variance at 12.3% and 8.8% respectively. The variables most correlated with these two first components are represented in Figure 8. The first component appears to correlate with a combination of rationalism (or non-empiricism) and realism, especially in the moral domain. The second component is harder to label but might correlate with a science-friendly outlook.

Figure 7:
Figure 7:
Figure 7: Variance explained by 10 first principal components.
Figure 8:
Figure 8:
Figure 8: First and second principal components. The axes represent correlation coefficients between variables and components.

To try to shed more light on the nature of views that might unify answers to our questions, we performed linear regressions on the same variables (normalized to a mean of 0 and variance of 1). Table 10 shows the answers that explain 2% or more of the variance among other answers, with the percentage of variance (of all other 100 answers).

Table 10:

Variables that explain 2% or more of the variance using linear regression.

God: theism 3.5%
Mind: physicalism 3.5%
Metaphilosophy: naturalism 3.1%
Meaning of life: objective 3.1%
Meta-ethics: moral realism 2.9%
Abortion: permissible 2.7%
Abstract objects: Platonism 2.4%
Moral.judgment: cognitivism 2.3%
Laws of nature: Humean 2.2%
Knowledge: Empiricism 2.1%

We also built multivariate models, employing an iterative procedure to determine which variables should be treated as independent and dependent. We first selected as independent the variable that explains the most variance among other variables (“God: theism”). We then iteratively selected the independent variables that can explain the most additional variance when added to previously selected independent variables.4 We found that 10 variables could explain 11.9% of variance. Table 11 shows the variables that were selected by our procedure and the cumulative variance explained.

Table 11:

Cumulative variance explained by linear models of up to 10 independent variables.

God: theism 3.5%
Meta-ethics: moral realism 5.5%
A priori knowledge: yes 6.6%
Science: scientific realism 7.5%
Temporal ontology: eternalism 8.3%
Gender: social 9.1%
Mental content: internalism 9.9%
Abstract objects: Platonism 10.6%
Mind uploading: survival 11.3%
Normative ethics: virtue ethics 11.9%

Clustering methods can also be used to assess relatedness of answers. We used 1 − |ρA,B| (one minus the absolute value of the Pearson correla tion coefficient between A and B) as our distance metric. Figure 9 shows the result of clustering the 101 answer options described above using hierarchical clustering with the “average” method, which minimizes the mean distance between members of joined clusters. Other hierarchical clustering methods yielded less readable and balanced trees. Figure 9 allows us to see that while there are some strong correlations between answers and some form small clusters, the correlations do not amount to large clusters of closely related views. Note that because the distance metric used is based on the absolute values of correlation coefficients, anti-correlated positions are often clustered together.

Figure 9:
Figure 9:
Figure 9: Hierarchical clustering (“average” method) of answer options using 1 − |ρA,B| as distance metric. The position of a junction corresponds to the mean distance between the components of the two branches it joins together. The dotted line marks a mean distance of .8, or a mean correlation between cluster members of .2. Clusters with a mean distance below this threshold are uniformly colored (colors are reused elsewhere within the graph).

8. Selection bias

Selection bias arises when the group who responds to a survey question is not a random sample of the target population. In our survey, selection bias takes two forms. First, the philosophers who respond to the survey at all (completing at least 50 questions and consenting) are not a random sample of the target population. We call this respondent bias. Second, respondents have the option to complete more than 50 (up to 100) questions, and the group who do so are not a random sample of the overall group of respondents. We call this enthusiast bias.

The results presented in Section 3 are subject to respondent bias and enthusiast bias, so they cannot be considered accurate guides to the distribution of views in our target population as a whole. To use survey responses to assess the distribution of views in our target population as a whole, we need to correct for respondent bias and enthusiast bias.

Enthusiast bias: Enthusiast bias does not affect the 40 main questions, which all respondents answered as part of their 50 mandatory questions. It affects only the 60 additional questions.

To correct for enthusiast bias on these questions, we can simply restrict our analysis to those First-50 respondents, who answered these questions as part of their 50 mandatory questions. This group should be a random sample of respondents as a whole. This information is shown in Table 14 under the “F50” column. Enthusiast bias is reflected in the difference between the “All” column and the “F50” column.

Table 12:

Correlations between number of answers and demographic answers where |r| ≥ .05.

Answer r
Tradition: Continental −0.13
Gender: male 0.13
Gender: female −0.12
Tradition: Analytic 0.12
AOS: M&E 0.1
Region of PhD: US 0.09
AOS: Traditions −0.06
Gender: other −0.06
Region of affiliation: Canada −0.06
Region of PhD: Asia −0.05
AOS: Value theory −0.05
Table 13:

Biases as proportion of respondents divided by proportion of population for (a) AOS clusters, (b) region of affiliation, and (c) gender.

(a) (b) (c)
Group Bias Region Bias Gender Bias
M&E 1.54 Africa 0.67 Male 1.12
Value Theory 0.89 Asia 1.11 Female 0.77
S.L.M 0.93 Canada 0.83
History 0.73 Europe 0.96
Traditions 0.51 United Kingdom 1.15
Oceania 1.38
Latin America 1.05
United States 0.97
Table 14:

Bias corrections for the additional questions. All = inclusive percentage of all answers (including skips and “insufficiently familiar”, so the figures are lower than in Table 2). F50 = percentage of answers among respondents’ mandatory questions (the first-50 group). Cor. = F50 with gender and specialization correction. Corrections of 3% or more are starred.

Questions and answers All F50 Cor.
Abortion
 Permissible 77.7 79.0 77.71
 Impermissible 12.5 12.7 12.92
Aesthetic experience
 Perception 17.2 16.9 16.15
 Pleasure 8.6 9.4 8.97
 Sui generis 22.7 21.6 23.8
Analysis of knowledge
 Justified true belief 21.4 22.9 24.93
 Other analysis 29.2 32.5 30.49
 No analysis 27.8 25.7 22.66 *
Arguments for theism
 Cosmological 18.8 14.9 14.18
 Design 15.9 13.6 12.51
 Ontological 8.0 8.0 9.1
 Pragmatic 12.8 13.3 15.49
 Moral 8.4 10.2 10.9
Belief or credence
 Belief 20.8 22.6 21.8
 Credence 21.2 20.5 20.3
 Neither 13.2 12.1 10.75
Capital punishment
 Permissible 17.1 17.1 15.46
 Impermissible 72.4 73.9 75.37
Causation
 Counterf act./diff.-making 28.9 32.8 32.17
 Process/production 17.5 16.6 16.44
 Primitive 15.9 15.3 13.63
 Nonexistent 3.2 3.1 2.77
Chinese room
 Understands 16.0 16.2 14.23
 Doesn’t understand 60.0 60.1 59.57
Concepts
 Nativism 21.4 22.0 21.55
 Empiricism 38.4 40.9 42.12
Consciousness
 Dualism 19.4 17.9 15.12
 Eliminativism 4.0 4.2 4.0
 Functionalism 29.2 30.9 28.89
 Identity theory 11.8 11.1 9.64
 Panpsychism 6.7 6.2 8.0
Continuum hypothesis
 Determinate 16.2 16.6 15.06
 Indeterminate 12.3 10.2 9.77
Cosmological fine-tuning
 Design 12.2 9.2 8.51
 Multiverse 10.7 12.5 12.83
 Brute fact 22.6 25.2 25.17
 No fine-tuning 15.3 15.4 15.03
Environmental ethics
 Anthropocentric 32.9 30.7 31.56
 Non-anthropocentric 394 37.5 38.69
Extended mind
 Yes 43.1 44.1 42.6
 No 31.2 27.1 25.68
Foundations of mathematics
 Constructivism/intuitionism 8.2 10.2 10.87
 Formalism 3.3 2.1 2.32
 Logicism 6.3 4.6 3.37
 Structuralism 11.3 14.4 14.36
 Set-theoretic 8.2 8.1 6.64
Gender categories
 Preserve 17.4 17.2 15.14
 Revise 43.2 48.3 48.42
 Eliminate 13.8 17.2 18.66
Grounds of intentionality
 Causal/teleological 21.9 21.9 20.61
 Inferential 6.0 5.8 5.34
 Interpretational 9.5 11.9 12.75
 Phenomenal 7.9 7.7 9.92
 Primitive 8.6 10.0 9.82
Hard problem of consciousness
 Yes 54.6 56.0 54.63
 No 26.0 23.2 25.01
Human genetic engineering
 Permissible 58.8 56.3 53.14 *
 Impermissible 17.8 17.3 19.75
Hume
 Skeptic 28.0 30.4 30.27
 Naturalist 42.2 39.5 44.11 *
Immortality
 Yes 43.3 36.7 35.27
 No 39.9 44.1 45.86
Interlevel metaphysics
 Grounding 19.3 17.2 14.88
 Identity 7.6 7.8 6.26
 Realization 13.9 16.2 14.83
 Supervenience 16.4 17.9 16.95
Justification
 Coherentism 19.4 24.7 27.66
 Infinitism 1.6 2.8 2.98
 Nonreliabilist found. 20.7 17.4 14.37 *
 Reliabilism 27.6 29.1 26.03 *
Kant
 One world 28.8 33.2 36.68 *
 Two worlds 22.1 22.5 23.18
Law
 Legal positivism 21.8 22.4 23.6
 Legal non-positivism 24.8 26.5 27.11
Material composition
 Nihilism 4.1 6.1 4.97
 Restrictivism 17.7 15.5 13.49
 Universalism 13.9 11.3 9.02
Morality
 Non-naturalism 23.8 24.8 24.4
 Naturalist realism 28.4 27.7 27.45
 Constructivism 18.7 20.1 22.3
 Expressivism 9.5 10.5 8.11
 Error theory 4.7 5.1 4.54
Metaontology
 Heavyweight realism 24.0 24.2 20.36 *
 Deflationary realism 17.5 18.8 17.76
 Anti-realism 74 6.1 6.4
Method in history of philosophy
 Analytic/rational reconstruction 49.3 49.8 50.05
 Contextual/historicist 36.0 45.5 47.76
Method in political philosophy
 Ideal theory 22.3 23.7 24.19
 Non-ideal theory 39.9 43.1 45.92
Mind uploading
 Survival 25.0 24.7 25.13
 Death 49.4 5i.7 51.92
Moral principles
 Moral generalism 46.3 43.8 43.82
 Moral particularism 28.6 31.0 31.99
Normative concepts
 Fit 5.7 4.3 4.81
 Ought 11.0 9.7 9.66
 Reasons 19.7 24.8 27.72
 Value 28.9 29.8 29.79
Other minds
 Adult humans 89.3 91.8 90.78
 Cats 83.1 83.9 81.84
 Fish 61.3 61.8 60.18
 Flies 32.4 32.7 34.67
 Worms 22.7 22.4 23.99
 Plants 6.8 7.0 7.91
 Particles 1.9 1.2 0.97
 Newborn babies 79.1 83.0 81.74
 Current AI systems 3.2 3.3 3.94
 Future AI systems 36.8 37.9 35.21
Ought implies can
 Yes 59.3 56.7 57.24
 No 26.7 27.3 28.07
Philosophical knowledge
 None 34 3.6 4.23
 A little 31.0 32.1 33.01
 A lot 53.5 54.9 53.27
Plato
 Knowledge only of forms 29.8 29.2 32.79 *
 Knowledge also of concrete things 15.9 17.9 19.83
Politics
 Capitalism 28.1 25.3 23.75
 Socialism 50.5 50.7 54.28 *
Possible worlds
 Abstract 50.0 51.3 47.25 *
 Concrete 4.2 3.2 2.05
 Nonexistent 27.4 25.6 28.8 *
Practical reason
 Aristotelian 30.3 32.9 34.72
 Humean 23.9 25.3 25.06
 Kantian 14.8 15.8 16.15
Principle of sufficient reason
 True 29.9 3i.5 31.7
 False 38.0 38.8 38.41
Properties
 Classes 7.9 11.0 10.43
 Immanent universals 14.3 18.2 16.62
 Transcendent universals 13.7 16.5 M.57
 Tropes 10.6 7.9 7.27
 Nonexistent 5.6 3.1 3.83
Propositional attitudes
 Dispositional 22.2 21.6 20.54
 Phenomenal 4.9 4.2 5.39
 Representational 32.7 30.9 24.75 *
 Nonexistent 2.5 1.9 2.88
Propositions
 Sets 5.9 5.5 4.74
 Structured entities 27.2 25.4 22.88
 Simple entities 4.9 7.1 6.26
 Acts 5.8 5.8 6.72
 Nonexistent 10.9 10.6 11.1
Quantum mechanics
 Collapse 8.5 6.8 6.1
 Hidden-variables 11.0 9.2 8.69
 Many-worlds 9.7 8.2 8.53
 Epistemic 6.4 6.1 5.79
Race categories
 Preserve 6.5 8.3 7.87
 Revise 25.8 27.2 28.93
 Eliminate 32.3 33.3 33.83
Response to external-world skepticism
 Abductive 18.1 16.2 15.8
 Contextualist 8.8 9.3 8.58
 Dogmatist 11.0 10.0 8.25
 Epistemic externalist 15.5 16.9 16.0
 Semantic externalist 6.9 9.0 8.06
 Pragmatic 18.7 17.6 20.06
Rational disagreement
 Non-permissivism 16.7 16.6 18.58
 Permissivism 60.5 65.1 62.26
Semantic content
 Minimalism (no more than a few) 6.4 5.7 4.79
 Moderate contextualism (intermediate) 35.7 37.7 36.66
 Radical contextualism (most or all) 17.3 16.8 18.08
Sleeping beauty
 One-third 10.5 11.3 9.78
 One-half 7.1 6.8 5.88
Spacetime
 Relationism 25.1 24.7 29.05 *
 Substantivalism 15.2 14.4 10.48 *
Statue and lump
 One thing 25.4 25.6 25.41
 Two things 35.3 37.4 34.17 *
Temporal ontology
 Presentism 12.1 11.0 8.88
 Eternalism 26.3 25.3 21.55 *
 Growing block 11.2 10.1 10.45
Theory of reference
 Causal 35.9 37.0 32.99 *
 Descriptive 17.2 17.0 14.72
 Deflationary 11.7 11.3 11.39
Time travel
 Metaphysically possible 34.9 34.6 30.97 *
 Metaphysically impossible 33.9 35.5 39.05 *
True contradictions
 Impossible 58.5 54.2 44.78 *
 Possible but non-actual 3.9 5.4 5.35
 Actual 10.2 9.0 9.73
Units of selection
 Genes 26.3 27.9 27.52
 Organisms 26.0 26.9 28.43
Values in science
 Necessarily value-free 15.3 17.2 15.58
 Necessarily value-laden 38.0 40.7 42.69
 Can be either 26.8 27.2 26.62
Well-being
 Hedonism/experientialism 10.7 11.0 11.06
 Desire satisfaction 15.6 17.9 16.19
 Objective list 44.7 44.1 43.4
Wittgenstein
 Early 20.7 19.8 18.58
 Late 48.4 49.0 50.23

We can also assess enthusiast bias by calculating correlations between the number of questions answered by a respondent and their various answers to questions. The highest correlations are shown in Table 12.

Respondent bias: It is less straightforward to assess and correct for respondent bias, as we have less information on philosophers in the target population who did not participate in the survey. However, we were able to rely on the PhilPeople database, which was updated with extensive data entry for relevant departments prior to the launch of the survey. This database contains entries for almost all members of the target population, including their affiliations (hence their regions of affiliation). We estimated AOS using PhilPeople’s publication attributions (taking the AOS of an individual to be the PhilPapers cluster-level topic in which they have the most publications). We estimated gender using PhilPeople’s gender guessing algorithm, which, roughly, assigns gender based on first name statistics from US census records. There are many cases in which the algorithm cannot confidently assign a gender. We treat these cases as a third category. There are limitations on using census data for guessing gender, but these limitations should not affect our results so long as all gender identities are guessed equally well based on census data.

We used this information to assess and correct for respondent bias with respect to AOS, region of affiliation, and gender.5 The (modest) biases that we have identified are summarized in Table 13. Tables 14 and 15 summarize the additional and main results corrected for AOS and gender. Relatively few results are corrected by more than 3 percentage points, and only two are corrected by more than 5% compared to First-50 answers: propositional attitudes: representational (-6.15%) and true contradictions: impossible (-9.72%). We did not make regional corrections because regions of affiliation are not very strongly correlated with philosophical views (see Table 20) and the number of data points at our disposal did not allow a three-way stratification of respondents.

Table 15:

Bias corrections for the 40 main questions. All = inclusive percentage of all answers (including skips and “insufficiently familiar”, so the figures are lower than in Table 1). Cor. = Percentage of answers with gender and specialization correction applied. Corrections of 3% or more are starred.

Questions and answers All Cor.
A priori knowledge
 Yes 71.4 68.95
 No 18.1 19.56
Abstract objects
 Platonism 35.2 32.53
 Nominalism 38.4 39.29
Aesthetic value
 Objective 41.5 40.13
 Subjective 38.7 39.05
Analytic-synthetic distinction
 Yes 59.6 57.5
 No 24.6 25.05
Knowledge
 Empiricism 42.4 42.39
 Rationalism 32.3 31.06
Epistemic justification
 Internalism 32.4 30.19
 Externalism 45.9 45.05
Free will
 Compatibilism 58.3 57.83
 Libertarianism 18.5 18.34
 No free will 11.0 10.56
God
 Theism 18.8 19.08
 Atheism 66.4 64.94
External world
 Idealism 6.6 8.02
 Skepticism 54 5.78
 Non-skeptical realism 78.6 75.24 *
Knowledge claims
 Contextualism 45.1 46.78
 Relativism 4.5 4.47
 Invariantism 21.1 18.43
Laws of nature
 Humean 27.2 27.39
 Non-humean 47.3 44.97
Logic
 Classical 42.5 39.76
 Non-classical 21.0 21.29
Mental content
 Internalism 22.4 21.68
 Externalism 49.3 46.13 *
Meta-ethics
 Moral realism 59.8 57.74
 Moral anti-realism 25.2 25.43
Metaphilosophy
 Naturalism 43.5 42.0
 Non-naturalism 27.0 26.68
Mind
 Physicalism 50.4 48.53
 Non-physicalism 31.1 31.17
Moral motivation
 Internalism 32.8 33.81
 Externalism 3i.5 29.86
Moral judgment
 Cognitivism 63.5 60.72
 Non-cognitivism 19.0 18.97
Newcomb’s problem
 One box 18.7 17.35
 Two boxes 23.4 21.18
Normative ethics
 Deontology 31.3 30.83
 Consequentialism 29.8 28.7
 Virtue ethics 36.1 38.34
Perceptual experience
 Disjunctivism 11.6 11.05
 Qualia theory 11.2 10.91
 Representationalism 29.1 26.56
 Sense-datum theory 3.7 3.85
Personal identity
 Biological view 17.3 16.43
 Psychological view 39.5 39.46
 Further-fact view 13.4 12.73
Political philosophy
 Communitarianism 23.5 24.46
 Egalitarianism 37.9 38.8
 Libertarianism 11.5 10.75
Proper names
 Fregean 25.7 24.36
 Millian 27.5 24.4 *
Science
 Scientific realism 68.5 64.74 *
 Scientific anti-realism 14.2 15.97
Teletransporter
 Survival 31.1 30.09
 Death 354 33.73
Time
 A-theory 17.1 16.07
 B-theory 24.0 21.27
Trolley problem
 Switch 61.7 58.64 *
 Don’t switch 12.9 12.84
Truth
 Correspondence 47.3 44.02 *
 Deflationary 22.6 21.84
 Epistemic 94 10.88
Zombies
 Inconceivable 14.8 14.0
 Conceivable but not pos. 32.9 32.66
 Metaphysically possible 22.0 20.19
Aim of philosophy
 Truth/knowledge 41.8 40.18
 Understanding 554 54.6
 Wisdom 30.9 32.97
 Happiness 12.5 13.44
 Goodness/justice 22.5 23.92
Eating animals and animal products
 Omnivorism (yes and yes) 47.5 46.9
 Vegetarianism (no and yes) 26.2 26.75
 Veganism (no and no) 18.2 18.48
Experience machine
 Yes 12.3 13.03
 No 70.7 68.3
Footbridge
 Push 21.4 20.19
 Don’t push 54.6 53.14
Gender
 Biological 26.9 27.89
 Psychological 19.9 20.93
 Social 58.4 59.88
 Unreal 3.9 3.77
Meaning of life
 Subjective 31.9 31.71
 Objective 31.0 30.23
 Nonexistent 15.6 15.83
Philosophical progress
 None 3.8 4.88
 A little 46.3 46.76
 A lot 41.5 38.28 *
Philosophical methods
 Conceptual analysis 68.9 69.47
 Conceptual engineering 38.3 36.63
 Empirical philosophy 58.3 57.37
 Experimental philosophy 31.7 31.36
 Formal philosophy 53.9 50.38 *
 Intuition-based philosophy 48.0 45.36
 Linguistic philosophy 44.8 43.46
Race
 Biological 17.3 16.69
 Social 58.6 59.42
 Unreal 13.9 14.48
Vagueness
 Epistemic 19.4 18.64
 Metaphysical 16.7 17.15
 Semantic 41.8 38.69 *

It remains possible and likely that there are respondent biases that go beyond AOS, gender, and region of affiliation, but our ability to measure them is limited by the limited information that we have about nonrespondents in the target population.

9. Specialist effects

As in 2009, we were interested to see whether and when specialists in the area of a question tend to give different answers than non-specialists. We associated every question with at least one (sometimes two) area of specialization, which we call the associated AOS. We use AOS as a useful if imperfect proxy for research specialization on a given question. For every question, we then compared specialist answers (percentages of non-“other” responses to each answer over respondents in the associated AOS) to non-specialist answers (percentages of non-“other” responses over respondents who are not in the associated AOS). Effects that are significant at the .05 level or better (based on a chi-squared test) are shown in Table 26 in Appendix C.

By far the biggest specialist effects are in the philosophy of religion, where 78% of specialists endorsed theism compared to 17% of nonspecialists, and 74% endorsed design as an account of fine-tuning compared to 13% of nonspecialists. The next biggest effects are on metaontology (metaphysicians favor heavyweight realism more than nonspecialists), gender and race (philosophers of gender, race, and sexuality favor social views), Newcomb’s problem (decision theorists favor two-boxing), and aesthetic value (aestheticians favor objective views).

Of course there can be many different sources of specialist effects. In some cases, prior philosophical views may influence one’s specialization. In other cases, specialization may influence philosophical views. In still other cases, there may be a complex interaction between specialization and views. If one looked to surveys like this as a guide to truth, there is perhaps a case for giving special weight to specialist opinion, at least in cases where one thinks that specialization influences view rather than vice versa. However, our data do not speak directly to the direction of influence, and do not tell us anything about whether specialist opinion correlates with philosophical truth.

10. Order effects

There is an order effect between two questions Q1 and Q2 if responses to Q1 when it is presented after Q2 differ significantly from responses to Q1 when it is presented before Q2. There exist a number of studies of order effects on philosophical questions, with many focusing especially on order effects between questions about the trolley case and questions about the footbridge case. Prior studies have demonstrated order effects on these questions among both professional philosophers (Schwitzgebel and Cushman 2015; 2012) and non-philosophers (Petrinovich and O’Neill 1996; Lanteri et al 2008).

It is natural to suppose that some of our questions might produce order effects. We assessed order effects for pairs of questions using exclusive normalized percentages that do not include any “other” answers and applying a chi-squared test to assess the significance of differences found. For the most part, in this project we did not engage in hypothesis testing, but given prior work on these issues, we formulated and tested a few hypotheses about order effects.

First, we formulated the primary hypothesis that there may be an order effect between the footbridge and the trolley questions. Consistently with prior work, we found a highly significant effect with Q1 = trolley and Q2 = footbridge (p = 2 x 10−8). We found only a weakly significant effect with Q1 = footbridge and Q2 = trolley (p = .03). These results are summarized in Table 16.

Table 16:

Order effect for the Trolley and Footbridge questions.

Answer Footbridge first?
Yes No
Trolley problem: switch 89.2% 77.5%
Trolley problem: don’t switch 10.8% 22.5%
Footbridge: push 30.6% 25.3%
Footbridge: don’t push 69.4% 74.7%

To investigate the footbridge/trolley effect further, we computed the order effect for each answer to each of these questions (four answers in total). We found that there is a statistically significant difference in the distribution of answers between the before and after conditions only among respondents who answer “don’t push” to the footbridge question (p = 6 x 10−8). Respondents who are presented the footbridge question first and answer “don’t push” are more likely to answer “don’t switch” on the trolley question than respondents who are presented with the footbridge second and answer “don’t push”. We don’t find such a clearly significant effect in the other cases. These results are summarized in Table 17.

Table 17:

Breakdown by Footbridge answer then order.

Footbridge answer Push Don’t push
Footbridge first? Yes No Yes No
Trolley: switch 98.5% 100% 67.1% 83.6%
Trolley: don’t switch 1.5% 0 32.9% 16.5%

Second, we formulated secondary hypotheses regarding possible order effects involving nine other pairs of questions on related topics (chosen somewhat arbitrarily from many pairs of related questions): footbridge vs. normative ethics, aim of philosophy vs. philosophical progress, personal identity vs. teletransporter, fine-tuning vs. theism, hard problem of consciousness vs. mind, material composition vs. metaontology, semantic content vs. knowledge claims, consciousness vs. other minds, Chinese room vs. other minds. These nine pairs of questions give rise to eighteen possible comparisons. After correcting for multiple comparisons, none of these comparisons was significant at p < .05.

Finally, we assessed order effects for every pair of questions (9900 comparisons), whether or not we had formulated hypotheses regarding those questions. By chance alone, we would expect one result to be significant at p < 10−4. In fact, two results were significant at that level: the pair with Q1 = trolley and Q2 = footbridge (p = 2 x 10−8 as above) and the pair with Q1 = moral judgment and Q2 = concepts (p = 4 x 10−6), with 80% and 61% of respondents respectively endorsing cognitivism about moral judgment when presented before and after the question about concepts (nativism or empiricism). The second result is significant (at p < .05) even when correcting for multiple comparisons. Unlike the first result, the second result does not correspond to a prior hypothesis (and there is no obvious relation between the questions). In the absence of further hypothesis-testing, it remains unsettled whether the second result is a genuine effect or a random fluctuation.

Overall, the results regarding the footbridge/trolley order effects are congruent with results from earlier studies. The result concerning concepts and cognitivism has not yet survived a similar process of robust testing. In any case, it is apparent that the footbridge/trolley order effect is unusually strong, and that order effects of this strength may be more the exception than the rule.

11. Conclusion

As we noted in the introduction, the 2020 PhilPapers Survey was intended to make at least three contributions over and above the 2009 PhilPapers Survey. It was intended to give information about a broader group of academic philosophers’ views about a broader range of philosophical questions, and it was intended to give some information about longitudinal changes in philosophers’ views over time. Our results suggest that it succeeded in these aims.

That said, the survey’s success in these aims is relative and far from complete. There are clear limitations on our survey population and on our survey questions, including (among other limitations) a strong analytic and English-language bias in both. There is considerable room for future work surveying a broader range of philosophers on a broader range of topics, giving more extensive information about philosophers’ philosophical views and how they change over time.

Acknowledgments

Thanks to the staff of the Centre for Digital Philosophy, the many philosophers who helped develop and beta test the survey, and the many philosophers who took the time to answer the survey. Thanks also to two anonymous referees and the editors of Philosophers’ Imprint for extensive feedback. This work was enabled by digital infrastructure developed with a grant from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (Canada Foundation for Innovation grant #36516).

Notes

  1. This survey was also replicated and extended by Yaden & Anderson (in press).
  2. A few questions relate to previously published results. For example, results for the question “Eating animals and animal products” tend to confirm the results obtained by Schwitzgebel et al. (2021), who found that 60% of ethicists and 45% of other philosophers rate eating meat negatively on a 0-9 normative scale. We find that 44.9% of respondents accept or lean towards vegetarianism or veganism. Among respondents with an AOS in Normative Ethics, the percentage increases slightly to 48.74%. In addition, the question on philosophical method is consistent with the finding by Bonino et al. (2020) that formal methods are widely used in analytic philosophy. We found that 55.5% of respondents hold that formal philosophy is among the most useful methods.
  3. All variables were normalized and imputed (using R’s missMDA package; Josse & Husson 2016).
  4. Variance explained is measured as the sum of adjusted r-squared values for all dependent variables.
  5. To correct for these biases, we gave more or less weight to respondents to achieve a representation of attributes that matches the population.

References

Bonino, G., Maffezioli, P., & Tripodi, P. (2020). Logic in analytic philosophy: A quantitative analysis. Synthese, 198(11), 10991–11028.

Bourget, D., & Chalmers, D. J. (2014). What do philosophers believe? Philosophical Studies, 170(3), 465–500. doi: 10.1007/s11098-013-0259-710.1007/s11098-013-0259-7

Josse, J., & Husson, F. (2016). missmda: A package for handling missing values in multivariate data analysis. Journal of Statistical Software, 70(1), 1–31. Retrieved from doi: 10.18637/jss.v070.i0110.18637/jss.v070.i01

Lanteri, A., Chelini, C., & Rizzello, S. (2008). An experimental investigation of emotions and reasoning in the trolley problem. Journal of Business Ethics, 83(4), 789–804. doi: 10.1007/s10551-008-9665-810.1007/s10551-008-9665-8

Leslie, S.-J., Cimpian, A., Meyer, M., & Freeland, E. (2015). Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines. Science, 347(6219), 262–265.

Petrinovich, L., & O’Neill, P. (1996). Influence of wording and framing effects on moral intuitions. Ethology and Sociobiology, 17(3), 145–171.

Schwitzgebel, E., Bright, L. K., Jennings, C. D., Thompson, M., & Winsberg, E. (2021). The diversity of philosophy students and faculty. The Philosophers’ Magazine, 93, 71–90. doi: 10.5840/tpm2021934310.5840/tpm20219343

Schwitzgebel, E., & Cushman, F. (2012). Expertise in moral reasoning? Order effects on moral judgment in professional philosophers and non-philosophers. Mind and Language, 27(2), 135–153. doi: 10.1111/mila.2012.27.issue-210.1111/mila.2012.27.issue-2

Schwitzgebel, E., & Cushman, F. (2015). Philosophers’ biased judgments persist despite training, expertise and reflection. Cognition, 141, 127–137. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.04.01510.1016/j.cognition.2015.04.015

Yaden, D. B., & Anderson, D. E. (in press). The psychology of philosophy: Associating philosophical views with psychological traits in professional philosophers. Philosophical Psychology, 1–35. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2021.191597210.1080/09515089.2021.1915972

Appendix A.  Longitudinal comparison

Table 18:

Longitudinal comparison.

Comparable departments Same people
Qs and As 09% 20% ch. Swng 09% 20% ch. Swng
A priori knowledge
 Yes 71.1 74.8 ⇑3.7 ⇑4.3 73.9 71.5 ⇑2.4 ⇑1.5
 No 18.4 13.6 ⇑4.8 ⇑4.3 16.0 16.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.5
 Other 10.5 11.6 10.1 11.9
Abstract objects
 Platonism 39.3 37.2 ⇑2.1 ⇑0.6 37.1 39.5 ⇑2.4 ⇑3.9
 Nominalism 37.7 36.7 ⇑1.0 ⇑0.6 39.5 34.1 ⇑5.4 ⇑3.9
 Other 23.0 26.1 23.4 26.4
Aesthetic value
 Objective 41.0 37.8 ⇑3.2 ⇑3.4 36.8 36.2 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.5
 Subjective 34.5 38.1 ⇑3.6 ⇑3.4 39.8 36.2 ⇑3.6 ⇑1.5
 Other 24.5 24.1 23.4 27.6
Analytic-synthetic distinction
 Yes 64.9 63.7 ⇑1.2 ⇑2.6 65.0 64.1 ⇑0.9 ⇑1.9
 No 27.1 20.7 ⇑6.4 ⇑2.6 26.7 22.0 ⇑4.7 ⇑1.9
 Other 8.0 15.6 8.3 13.9
Epistemic justification
 Internalism 26.4 27.9 ⇑1.5 ⇑0.7 30.0 30.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.8
 Externalism 42.7 42.9 ⇑0.2 ⇑0.7 43.6 40.7 ⇑2.9 ⇑1.8
 Other 30.9 29.2 26.4 28.7
External world
 Idealism 4.3 4.0 ⇑0.3 ⇑0.5 2.7 4.2 ⇑1.5 ⇑1.5
 Skepticism 4.8 4.3 ⇑0.5 ⇑0.8 5.9 6.5 ⇑0.6 ⇑0.6
 Non-skeptical realism 81.6 83.2 ⇑1.6 ⇑1.3 81.9 79.8 ⇑2.1 ⇑2.1
 Other 9.3 8.5 9.5 9.5
Free will
 Compatibilism 59.1 62.8 ⇑3.7 ⇑3.5 60.8 62.0 ⇑l.2 ⇑2.6
 Libertarianism 13.7 12.8 ⇑0.9 ⇑1.1 12.2 12.2 ⇑14
 No free will 12.2 10.0 ⇑2.2 ⇑2.4 14.8 9.5 ⇑5.3 ⇑4.0
 Other 15.0 14.4 12.2 16.3
God
 Theism 14.6 12.5 ⇑2.1 ⇑1.8 10.1 10.7 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.0
 Atheism 72.8 74.2 ⇑1.4 ⇑1.8 78.6 77.2 ⇑1.4 ⇑1.0
 Other 12.6 13.3 11.3 12.1
Knowledge
 Empiricism 35.0 33.0 ⇑2.0 ⇑1.4 36.2 35.9 ⇑0.3 ⇑1.3
 Rationalism 27.8 28.7 ⇑0.9 ⇑1.4 30.3 27.3 ⇑3.0 ⇑1.3
 Other 37.2 38.3 33.5 36.8
Knowledge claims
 Contextualism 40.1 42.4 ⇑2.3 ⇑5.1 39.2 40.1 ⇑0.9 ⇑4.1
 Relativism 2.9 2.6 ⇑0.3 ⇑2.4 4.2 2.4 ⇑1.8 ⇑1.4
 Invariantism 31.1 21.0 ⇑10.1 ⇑7.5 31.5 22.8 ⇑8.7 ⇑5.4
 Other 25.9 34.0 25.1 34.7
Laws of nature
 Humean 24.7 24.4 ⇑0.3 ⇑4.3 25.2 25.8 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.9
 Non-humean 57.1 48.3 ⇑8.8 ⇑4.3 52.5 49.3 ⇑3.2 ⇑1.9
 Other 18.2 27.3 22.3 24.9
Logic
 Classical 51.6 39.8 ⇑11.8 ⇑6.7 52.5 44.5 ⇑8.0 ⇑4.8
 Non-classical 15.4 17.0 ⇑1.6 ⇑6.7 13.6 15.1 ⇑1.5 ⇑4.8
 Other 33.0 43.2 33.9 40.4
Mental content
 Internalism 20.0 18.2 ⇑1.8 ⇑0.4 19.9 21.1 ⇑1.2 ⇑2.2
 Externalism 51.1 50.2 ⇑0.9 ⇑0.4 51.3 48.1 ⇑3.2 ⇑2.2
 Other 28.9 31.6 28.8 30.8
Meta-ethics
 Moral realism 56.4 59.9 ⇑3.5 ⇑2.7 54.9 56.4 ⇑1.5 ⇑2.2
 Moral anti-realism 27.7 25.8 ⇑1.9 ⇑2.7 30.6 27.6 ⇑3.0 ⇑2.2
 Other 15.9 14.3 14.5 16.0
Metaphilosophy
 Naturalism 49.8 43.2 ⇑6.6 ⇑1.7 47.5 49.0 ⇑1.5 ⇑2.8
 Non-naturalism 25.9 22.7 ⇑3.2 ⇑1.7 27.0 22.8 ⇑4.2 ⇑2.8
 Other 24.3 34.1 25.5 28.2
Mind
 Physicalism 56.5 57.4 ⇑0.9 ⇑1.1 61.1 59.3 ⇑1.8 ⇑1.2
 Non-physicalism 27.1 25.8 ⇑1.3 ⇑1.1 24.3 24.9 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.2
 Other 16.4 16.8 14.6 15.8
Moral judgment
 Cognitivism 65.7 63.4 ⇑2.3 ⇑1.5 69.1 62.9 ⇑6.2 ⇑4.2
 Non-cognitivism 17.0 17.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.5 16.6 18.7 ⇑2.1 ⇑4.2
 Other 17.3 19.0 14.3 18.4
Moral motivation
 Internalism 34.9 29.6 ⇑5.3 ⇑4.4 34.7 32.6 ⇑2.1
 Externalism 29.8 33.2 ⇑3.4 ⇑4.4 34.7 32.6 ⇑2.1
 Other 35.3 37.2 30.6 34.8
Newcomb’s problem
 One box 21.3 20.1 ⇑1.2 ⇑0.5 23.1 21.7 ⇑1.4
 Two boxes 31.4 31.2 ⇑0.2 ⇑0.5 35.0 33.5 ⇑1.5
 Other 47.3 48.7 41.9 44.8
Normative ethics
 Deontology 25.9 22.5 ⇑3.4 ⇑1.5 22.8 20.8 ⇑2.0 ⇑0.4
 Consequentialism 23.6 21.3 ⇑2.3 ⇑0.5 29.4 23.7 ⇑5.7 ⇑4.0
 Virtue ethics 18.2 18.2 ⇑1.9 16.0 18.7 ⇑2.7 ⇑4.4
 Other 32.3 38.0 31.8 36.8
Perceptual experience
 Disjunctivism 11.0 1.1 ⇑0.1 ⇑1.4 9.2 8.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑0.9
 Qualia theory 12.2 10.8 ⇑1.4 ⇑0.2 16.6 12.2 ⇑4.4 ⇑3.0
 Representationalism 31.5 28.9 ⇑2.6 ⇑1.4 28.2 28.5 ⇑0.3 ⇑1.8
 Sense-datum theory 3.1 2.2 ⇑0.9 ⇑0.3 3.6 2.4 ⇑1.2 ⇑0.3
 Other 42.2 47.0 42.4 48.3
Personal identity
 Biological view 16.9 15.3 ⇑1.6 ⇑2.0 17.5 17.5 ⇑0.3
 Psychological view 33.6 37.0 ⇑3.4 ⇑3.0 35.6 37.7 ⇑2.1 ⇑2.4
 Further-fact view 12.2 11.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.1 10.7 7.7 ⇑3.0 ⇑2.7
 Other 37.3 36.1 36.2 37.1
Proper names
 Fregean 28.7 27.0 ⇑1.7 ⇑0.3 27.6 25.5 ⇑2.1 ⇑0.5
 Millian 34.5 32.3 ⇑2.2 ⇑0.3 35.9 34.7 ⇑1.2 ⇑0.5
 Other 36.8 40.7 36.5 39.8
Science
 Scientific realism 75.1 73.6 ⇑1.5 ⇑0.3 76.3 73.6 ⇑2.7 ⇑0.7
 Scientific anti-realism 11.6 10.6 ⇑1.0 ⇑0.3 11.6 10.4 ⇑1.2 ⇑0.7
 Other 13.3 15.8 12.1 16.0
Teletransporter
 Survival 36.2 36.0 ⇑0.2 ⇑1.7 39.5 35.9 ⇑3.6 ⇑2.2
 Death 31.1 34.3 ⇑3.2 ⇑1.7 32.9 33.8 ⇑0.9 ⇑2.2
 Other 32.7 29.7 27.6 30.3
Time
 A-theory 15.5 13.9 ⇑1.6 ⇑1.8 13.6 13.9 ⇑0.3 ⇑1.8
 B-theory 26.3 28.4 ⇑2.1 ⇑1.8 30.3 27.0 ⇑3.3 ⇑1.8
 Other 58.2 57.7 56.1 59.1
Trolley problem
 Switch 68.2 66.2 ⇑2.0 ⇑3.1 74.8 67.4 ⇑7.4 ⇑5.9
 Don’t switch 7.6 11.9 ⇑4.3 ⇑3.1 6.2 10.7 ⇑4.5 ⇑5.9
 Other 24.2 21.9 19.0 21.9
Truth
 Correspondence 50.8 44.4 ⇑6.4 ⇑3.4 48.1 46.3 ⇑1.8 ⇑0.4
 Deflationary 24.8 23.8 ⇑1.0 ⇑1.9 29.4 24.6 ⇑4.8 ⇑2.6
 Epistemic 6.9 5.4 ⇑1.5 ⇑1.5 4.7 4.7 ⇑2.2
 Other 17.5 26.4 17.8 24.4
Zombies
 Inconceivable 16.0 13.1 ⇑2.9 ⇑1.2 18.7 16.0 ⇑2.7 ⇑1.1
 Conceivable but not pos. 35.6 36.9 ⇑1.3 ⇑3.0 35.9 32.3 ⇑3.6 ⇑2.0
 Metaphysically possible 23.3 19.9 ⇑3.4 ⇑1.8 20.2 21.7 ⇑1.5 ⇑3.1
 Other 25.1 30.1 25.2 30.0

Appendix B.  Correlations

All correlations listed below have a p-value of less than 0.0001.

Table 19:

Strongest correlations between main answers.

Answer A Answer B r n
Cosmological fine-tuning: design God: theism 0.72 708
Temporal ontology: eternalism Time: A-theory −0.7 534
Consciousness: dualism Mind: physicalism −0.69 838
Abortion: permissible Cosmological fine-tuning: design −0.68 629
Mind uploading: survival Teletransporter: survival 0.65 806
Abortion: permissible God: theism −0.65 1016
Metaphilosophy: naturalism Mind: physicalism 0.62 1231
Meta-ethics: moral realism Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.6 1439
Temporal ontology: presentism Time: A-theory 0.59 535
Metaphilosophy: naturalism Morality: non-naturalism −0.58 775
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Meaning of life: objective 0.55 609
Aesthetic value: objective Meaning of life: objective 0.52 1227
God: theism Mind: physicalism −0.52 1477
Consciousness: dualism Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.52 734
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.51 619
Metaontology: heavyweight realism Truth: correspondence 0.5 575
God: theism Meaning of life: objective 0.5 1311
Consciousness: dualism Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.5 578
Normative ethics: virtue ethics Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.5 716
Philosophical knowledge Philosophical progress 0.5 986
Normative ethics: deontology Practical reason: Kantian 0.5 709
Metaontology: anti-realism Science: scientific realism −0.5 583
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Mind: physicalism −0.5 691
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Free will: libertarianism 0.5 716
Abstract objects: Platonism Properties: transcendent universals 0.5 614
A priori knowledge: yes Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes 0.5 1524
Normative ethics: consequentialism Practical reason: Humean 0.49 712
Aesthetic value: objective Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.49 1382
Political philosophy: libertarianism Politics: capitalism 0.48 720
Meaning of life: objective Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.48 1272
God: theism Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.47 1270
Meta-ethics: moral realism Morality: expressivism −0.47 903
Moral judgment: cognitivism Morality: expressivism −0.47 883
Consciousness: dualism Morality: non-naturalism 0.47 699
Meaning of life: objective Practical reason: Humean −0.47 661
Metaontology: heavyweight realism Truth: deflationary −0.46 573
Meaning of life: objective Well-being: objective list 0.46 705
Cosmological fine-tuning: multiverse Quantum mechanics: many-worlds 0.46 377
Abstract objects: Platonism Propositions: nonexistent −0.46 637
Gender: biological Gender categories: preserve 0.45 811
Free will: libertarianism God: theism 0.45 1531
Consciousness: functionalism Mind: physicalism 0.45 840
Knowledge: empiricism Metaphilosophy: naturalism 0.45 1070
Abortion: permissible Meaning of life: objective −0.45 866
Gender: social Race: social 0.45 1340
Gender: biological Race: biological 0.44 1324
Gender: social Gender categories: preserve −0.44 822
Epistemic justification: internalism Mental content: internalism 0.44 1222
Epistemic justification: internalism Justif.: reliabilism −0.44 765
Abortion: permissible Free will: libertarianism −0.44 1007
Meaning of life: objective Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.43 1097
Abortion: permissible Consciousness: dualism −0.43 765
Abstract objects: Platonism Knowledge: empiricism −0.43 1131
Abortion: permissible Mind: physicalism 0.43 970
Metaphilosophy: naturalism Phil, method: empirical phil. 0.43 1267
Consciousness: dualism God: theism 0.43 850
Abortion: permissible Metaphilosophy: naturalism 0.43 858
Possible worlds: nonexistent Propositions: nonexistent 0.43 612
Free will: libertarianism Mind: physicalism −0.43 1466
Footbridge: push Normative ethics: consequentialism 0.42 1327
Gender categories: revise Race categories: revise 0.42 686
Abortion: permissible Gender categories: preserve −0.42 762
Epistemic justification: internalism Justif.: nonreliabilist found. 0.42 763
Properties: nonexistent Propositions: nonexistent 0.42 494
Metaontology: deflationary realism Truth: deflationary 0.41 572
Meaning of life: objective Mind: physicalism −0.41 1250
Theory of reference: deflationary Truth: correspondence −0.4 684
Gender categories: preserve Race categories: preserve 0.4 686
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Morality: non-naturalism 0.4 592
Mind: physicalism Morality: non-naturalism −0.4 861
Moral principles: moral generalism Normative ethics: virtue ethics −0.4 812
Grounds of intentionality: phenomenal Propositional attitudes: phenomenal 0.4 468
Possible worlds: abstract Propositions: nonexistent −0.4 613
Meta-ethics: moral realism Practical reason: Humean −0.4 743
Consciousness: dualism Free will: libertarianism 0.4 855
Practical reason: Humean Well-being: objective list −0.4 593
Free will: libertarianism Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.39 1266
Metaontology: heavyweight realism Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.39 569
Meta-ethics: moral realism Metaontology: heavyweight realism 0.39 598
Mental content: internalism Theory of reference: descriptive 0.39 670
Metaontology: deflationary realism Truth: correspondence −0.39 574
Theory of reference: deflationary Truth: deflationary 0.39 683
Metaphilosophy: naturalism Practical reason: Humean 0.39 656
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Gender categories: preserve 0.38 536
Gender categories: eliminate Race categories: eliminate 0.38 687
Consciousness: dualism Meaning of life: objective 0.38 731
Gender categories: preserve Politics: capitalism 0.38 674
Consciousness: dualism Zombies: metaphysically possible 0.38 763
Meta-ethics: moral realism Morality: error theory −0.38 901
Aesthetic value: objective Well-being: objective list 0.38 764
Concepts: nativism Knowledge: empiricism −0.38 601
God: theism Human genetic eng.: permissible −0.38 904
Logic: classical True contradictions: impossible 0.38 690
Proper names: Fregean Theory of reference: descriptive 0.37 607
Abstract objects: Platonism Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.37 1324
Temporal ontology: growing block Time: A-theory 0.37 533
Meaning of life: objective Morality: non-naturalism 0.37 766
Grounds of intentionality: causal/teleo. Theory of reference: causal 0.37 478
Laws of nature: Humean Practical reason: Humean 0.37 693
Aesthetic value: objective Practical reason: Humean −0.37 708
Morality: non-naturalism Personal identity: further-fact view 0.37 746
Aesthetic value: objective Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.37 1330
Politics: capitalism Race: biological 0.37 808
Consciousness: dualism Hard problem of consc: yes 0.37 711
Meaning of life: objective Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.37 662
Knowledge: empiricism Morality: non-naturalism −0.36 741
External world: non-skeptical realism Science: scientific realism 0.36 1474
Abstract objects: Platonism Metaontology: heavyweight realism 0.36 552
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Immortality: yes 0.36 625
Meta-ethics: moral realism Morality: non-naturalism 0.36 901
Temporal ontology: eternalism Time travel: metaphysically possible 0.36 539
Abortion: permissible Human genetic eng.: permissible 0.36 826
Metaontology: heavyweight realism Theory of reference: deflationary −0.36 457
Aesthetic value: objective Meaning of life: subjective −0.36 1228
Meaning of life: objective Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.36 1227
A priori knowledge: yes Knowledge: empiricism −0.36 1258
Mind uploading: survival Personal identity: psychological view 0.36 733
Consciousness in AIs Mind uploading: survival 0.36 768
Logic: classical True contradictions: actual −0.36 690
Consciousness on complexity scale Other minds: newborn babies 0.36 1051
Knowledge: empiricism Laws of nature: Humean 0.36 1128
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Personal identity: further-fact view 0.36 597
Cosmological fine-tuning: brute fact God: theism −0.35 707
Aesthetic value: objective Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.35 648
Abortion: permissible Gender: social 0.35 908
Knowledge: empiricism Mind: physicalism 0.35 1212
Chinese room: understands Consciousness: dualism −0.35 691
Table 20:

Strongest correlations between region of affiliation and main answers.

Region Answer r n
Region of affiliation: Europe Aim of philosophy: wisdom −0.1 1543
Region of affiliation: Europe Capital punishment: permissible −0.14 1059
Region of affiliation: Europe Human genetic eng.: permissible −0.15 960
Region of affiliation: Europe Moral judgment: cognitivism −0.12 1530
Region of affiliation: Europe Political philosophy: libertarianism 0.11 1316
Region of affiliation: Europe Race: social −0.2 H73
Region of affiliation: Europe Race: unreal 0.17 1443
Region of affiliation: Europe Race categories: revise −0.14 834
Region of affiliation: Latin America Arguments for theism: moral 0.14 833
Region of affiliation: US Capital punishment: permissible 0.14 1059
Region of affiliation: US God: theism 0.1 1633
Region of affiliation: US Immortality: yes 0.13 1027
Region of affiliation: US Meaning of life: objective 0.11 1367
Region of affiliation: US Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.12 1574
Region of affiliation: US Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.11 1530
Region of affiliation: US Normative ethics: consequentialism −0.13 1499
Region of affiliation: US Perceptual experience: qualia theory 0.13 1128
Region of affiliation: US Race: social 0.19 H73
Region of affiliation: US Race: unreal −0.12 1443
Region of affiliation: US Well-being: hedonism/experientialism −0.14 850
Table 21:

Strongest correlations between nationality and main answers.

Region Answer r n
Nationality: Europe Aim of philosophy: wisdom −0.11 1436
Nationality: Europe Capital punishment: permissible −0.19 1007
Nationality: Europe Human genetic eng.: permissible −0.13 913
Nationality: Europe Immortality: yes −0.14 970
Nationality: Europe Meta-ethics: moral realism −0.12 1460
Nationality: Europe Moral judgment: cognitivism −0.15 1420
Nationality: Europe Morality: expressivism 0.13 895
Nationality: Europe Race: social −0.22 1380
Nationality: Europe Race: unreal 0.18 1355
Nationality: Europe Race categories: eliminate 0.14 794
Nationality: Europe Race categories: revise −0.16 794
Nationality: UK Personal identity: biological view 0.12 1233
Nationality: UK Well-being: desire satisfaction −0.15 797
Nationality: Oceania Free will: compatibilism 0.1 1502
Nationality: Oceania Properties: classes 0.16 638
Nationality: US Abortion: permissible −0.13 1022
Nationality: US Aim of philosophy: wisdom 0.12 1436
Nationality: US Capital punishment: permissible 0.18 1007
Nationality: US Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.15 706
Nationality: US God: theism 0.15 1514
Nationality: US Immortality: yes 0.16 970
Nationality: US Meaning of life: objective 0.13 1278
Nationality: US Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.13 1460
Nationality: US Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.13 1420
Nationality: US Normative ethics: consequentialism −0.13 1398
Nationality: US Perceptual experience: qualia theory 0.15 1048
Nationality: US Properties: transcendent universals 0.15 639
Nationality: US Race: social 0.2 1380
Nationality: US Race: unreal −0.15 1355
Nationality: US Zombies: metaphysically possible 0.12 1310
Table 22:

Strongest correlations between region of PhD and main answers.

Region Region r n
Region of PhD: Canada Analysis of knowledge: justified true belief 0.16 706
Region of PhD: Europe Meta-ethics: moral realism −0.14 1105
Region of PhD: Europe Political philosophy: libertarianism 0.13 907
Region of PhD: Europe Race: social −0.15 1013
Region of PhD: UK Analysis of knowledge: justified true belief −0.15 706
Region of PhD: UK Analysis of knowledge: no analysis 0.2 705
Region of PhD: UK Perceptual experience: disjunctivism 0.15 795
Region of PhD: Oceania Morality: non-naturalism −0.15 688
Region of PhD: Oceania Practical reason: Humean 0.16 592
Region of PhD: Oceania Proper names: Fregean 0.14 795
Region of PhD: US God: theism 0.12 1141
Region of PhD: US Knowledge: empiricism −0.14 908
Region of PhD: US Meaning of life: objective 0.14 953
Region of PhD: US Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.13 1105
Region of PhD: US Perceptual experience: qualia theory 0.14 793
Region of PhD: US Race: social 0.14 1013
Table 23:

Strongest correlations between year of birth and main answers. Positively correlated items are associated with younger respondents.

Answer r n
Eating animals /products of: veganism 0.27 1497
Eating animals/products of: omnivorism −0.24 1499
External-world skepticism: dogmatist 0.21 779
Gender: biological −0.19 1326
Interlevel metaphysics: grounding 0.19 595
Race: social 0.19 1358
Time travel: metaphysically possible 0.18 819
Law: legal positivism 0.17 554
External-world skepticism: semantic externalist 0.16 777
Gender: social 0.15 1339
Phil. method: conceptual engineering 0.15 1496
Morality: non-naturalism 0.15 877
Immortality: yes 0.14 960
Phil. method: empirical phil. 0.13 1496
Phil. method: formal philosophy 0.13 1496
Race: biological −0.11 1358
Table 24:

Strongest correlations between gender: female and main answers.

Answer r n
Material composition: nihilism 0.21 470
Politics: capitalism −0.19 896
External-world skepticism: pragmatic 0.19 825
Eating animals/products of: omnivorism −0.16 1598
Environmental ethics: anthropocentric −0.16 828
Race: social 0.16 1449
Gender: social 0.16 1427
Immortality: yes −0.15 1008
External world: idealism 0.15 1595
Morality: constructivism 0.15 933
Truth: epistemic 0.15 1433
Capital punishment: permissible −0.15 1045
Gender: biological −0.15 1412
Eating animals/products of: vegetarianism 0.14 1600
Laws of nature: Humean 0.14 1438
Values in science: necessarily value-laden 0.13 895
True contradictions: impossible −0.13 848
Gender categories: preserve −0.13 877
Trolley problem: switch −0.13 1419
Race: biological −0.13 1448
Eating animals/products of: veganism 0.12 1596
External world: non-skeptical realism −0.12 1592
Philosophical progress −0.12 1600
Table 25:

Strongest correlations between areas of specialization and main answers.

AOS Answer r n
17th/18th Century Phil. Consciousness: panpsychism 0.16 889
17th/18th Century Phil. External world: idealism 0.13 1595
17th/18th Century Phil. External world: non-skeptical realism −0.13 1592
17th/18th Century Phil. Practical reason: Kantian 0.15 795
19th Century Phil. External world: idealism 0.2 1595
19th Century Phil. External world: non-skeptical realism −0.14 1592
19th Century Phil. Justif.: coherentism 0.15 825
19th Century Phil. Philosophical progress −0.15 1601
19th Century Phil. True contradictions: impossible −0.17 860
19th Century Phil. Truth: correspondence −0.15 1433
19th Century Phil. Truth: epistemic 0.13 1429
20th Century Phil. Truth: correspondence −0.13 1433
Ancient Greek and Roman Phil. Normative ethics: virtue ethics 0.15 1475
Ancient Greek and Roman Phil. Political philosophy: communitarianism 0.15 1297
Ancient Greek and Roman Phil. Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.26 798
Ancient Greek and Roman Phil. Practical reason: Humean −0.22 797
Applied Ethics Analysis of knowledge: no analysis −0.14 943
Applied Ethics Moral principles: moral generalism 0.13 911
Applied Ethics Perceptual experience: sense-datum theory 0.16 1109
Asian Phil. Consciousness: panpsychism 0.18 889
Continental Phil. External world: idealism 0.18 1595
Continental Phil. External world: non-skeptical realism −0.13 1592
Continental Phil. Method hist. phil.: analytic/rational reconstruction −0.2 855
Continental Phil. Mind: physicalism −0.15 1524
Continental Phil. Phil. method: formal philosophy −0.15 1599
Continental Phil. Propositional attitudes: representational −0.21 714
Continental Phil. Science: scientific realism −0.18 1509
Continental Phil. True contradictions: actual 0.18 860
Continental Phil. True contradictions: impossible −0.2 860
Decision Theory Mind uploading: survival 0.15 897
Decision Theory Newcomb’s problem: one box −0.13 964
Decision Theory Phil. method: formal philosophy 0.14 1599
Decision Theory Politics: capitalism 0.15 913
Decision Theory Practical reason: Aristotelian −0.14 798
Decision Theory Practical reason: Humean 0.21 797
Epistemology Analysis of knowledge: justified true belief −0.13 945
Epistemology Justif.: coherentism −0.16 825
Epistemology Justif.: infinitism −0.16 815
Epistemology Justif.: nonreliabilist found. 0.16 824
Epistemology Knowledge claims: contextualism −0.18 1335
Epistemology Knowledge claims: invariantism 0.15 1332
Epistemology External-world skepticism: pragmatic −0.14 836
Feminist Phil. Eating animals/products of: veganism 0.13 1598
Feminist Phil. Gender: biological −0.13 1423
Feminist Phil. Gender: social 0.14 1436
Feminist Phil. Race: social 0.14 1452
General Phil. of Science Causation: nonexistent −0.14 802
General Phil. of Science Causation: primitive −0.14 802
General Phil. of Science Knowledge: empiricism 0.15 1288
General Phil. of Science Metaphilosophy: naturalism 0.14 1315
General Phil. of Science Normative ethics: consequentialism 0.14 1472
General Phil. of Science Phil. method: intuition-based −0.17 1599
General Phil. of Science Phil. method: linguistic philosophy −0.13 1599
General Phil. of Science Principle of sufficient reason: true −0.16 872
Logic and Phil. of Logic Phil. method: formal philosophy 0.2 1599
Logic and Phil. of Logic Principle of sufficient reason: true −0.14 872
Logic and Phil. of Logic Wittgenstein: early 0.14 864
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Abortion: permissible −0.29 1074
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Arguments for theism: cosmological 0.19 835
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Causation: primitive 0.14 802
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Cosmological fine-tuning: brute fact −0.17 741
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.3 742
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Free will: libertarianism 0.16 1592
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Gender categories: preserve 0.13 887
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. God: theism 0.25 1604
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Material composition: restrictivism 0.21 479
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Meaning of life: objective 0.13 1350
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.14 1315
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Mind uploading: survival −0.16 897
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Normative ethics: consequentialism −0.13 1472
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Normative ethics: virtue ethics 0.14 1475
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.27 798
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Practical reason: Humean −0.21 797
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Practical reason: Kantian −0.17 795
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Principle of sufficient reason: true 0.15 872
Meta-Ethics Interlevel metaphysics: grounding 0.19 626
Meta-Ethics Phil. method: intuition-based 0.16 1599
Metaphilosophy Interlevel metaphysics: identity 0.21 619
Metaphysics Abstract objects: Platonism 0.18 1413
Metaphysics Arguments for theism: pragmatic −0.15 824
Metaphysics Continuum hypothesis: determinate 0.21 436
Metaphysics Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.16 742
Metaphysics Extended mind: yes −0.16 879
Metaphysics External world: skepticism −0.15 1593
Metaphysics Justif.: coherentism −0.18 825
Metaphysics Justif.: nonreliabilist found. 0.17 824
Metaphysics Knowledge: empiricism −0.15 1288
Metaphysics Laws of nature: Humean −0.14 1429
Metaphysics Material composition: nihilism −0.26 479
Metaphysics Metaontology: anti-realism −0.22 615
Metaphysics Metaontology: deflationary realism −0.23 616
Metaphysics Metaontology: heavyweight realism 0.29 618
Metaphysics Method hist. phil.: analytic/rational reconstruction 0.17 855
Metaphysics Morality: constructivism −0.17 940
Metaphysics Morality: non-naturalism 0.13 936
Metaphysics Other minds: newborn babies 0.13 1031
Metaphysics Properties: classes −0.21 670
Metaphysics External-world skepticism: pragmatic −0.18 836
Metaphysics Science: scientific realism 0.15 1509
Metaphysics Spacetime: relationism −0.22 574
Metaphysics Temporal ontology: eternalism 0.19 654
Metaphysics Temporal ontology: growing block −0.22 652
Metaphysics Theory of reference: deflationary −0.15 753
Metaphysics Time travel: metaphysically possible 0.13 871
Metaphysics Truth: correspondence 0.13 1433
Metaphysics Truth: epistemic −0.17 1429
Metaphysics Wittgenstein: early 0.19 864
Normative Ethics Meaning of life: objective 0.14 1350
Normative Ethics Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.15 1500
Normative Ethics Moral principles: moral generalism 0.2 911
Normative Ethics Phil. method: intuition-based 0.15 1599
Phil. of Biology Knowledge: empiricism 0.14 1288
Phil. of Biology Moral judgment: cognitivism −0.14 1500
Phil. of Cognitive Science Causation: primitive −0.14 802
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Chinese room: understands 0.13 923
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Consciousness: dualism −0.18 888
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Grounds of intentionality: causal/teleo. 0.17 648
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Grounds of intentionality: primitive −0.18 646
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Hard problem of consc: yes −0.17 941
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Justif.: nonreliabilist found. −0.16 824
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Knowledge: empiridsm 0.14 1288
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Metaphilosophy: naturalism 0.21 1315
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Mind: physicalism 0.21 1524
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Morality: non-naturalism −0.13 936
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Perceptual experience: representationalism 0.14 1120
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Phil. method: empirical phil. 0.22 1599
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Phil. method: experimental philosophy 0.15 1599
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Pradical reason: Humean 0.14 797
Phil. of Gender: Race: and Sexuality Values in science: necessarily value-laden 0.14 907
Phil. of Language Abstract objeds: Platonism 0.14 1413
Phil. of Language Analysis of knowledge: no analysis 0.14 943
Phil. of Language Phil. method: formal philosophy 0.14 1599
Phil. of Language Phil. method: linguistic philosophy 0.23 1599
Phil. of Language Possible worlds: abstract 0.15 980
Phil. of Language Possible worlds: nonexistent −0.15 980
Phil. of Language Principle of suffident reason: true −0.16 872
Phil. of Language External-world skepticism: contextualist 0.15 824
Phil. of Law Normative ethics: deontology 0.13 1472
Phil. of Mathematics Foundations of math: logidsm −0.19 514
Phil. of Mind Other minds: newborn babies 0.13 1031
Phil. of Mind Perceptual experience: qualia theory −0.13 1113
Phil. of Mind Perceptual experience: sense-datum theory −0.21 1109
Phil. of Physical Sdence Causation: primitive −0.14 802
Phil. of Religion Abortion: permissible −0.42 1074
Phil. of Religion Aesthetic value: objective 0.16 1453
Phil. of Religion Aim of philosophy: wisdom 0.13 1514
Phil. of Religion Capital punishment: permissible 0.18 1054
Phil. of Religion Causation: counterfactual/difference-making −0.18 811
Phil. of Religion Causation: primitive 0.19 802
Phil. of Religion Chinese room: understands −0.15 923
Phil. of Religion Consciousness: dualism 0.28 888
Phil. of Religion Consciousness: fundionalism −0.22 890
Phil. of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: brute fad −0.26 741
Phil. of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.48 742
Phil. of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: multiverse −0.22 742
Phil. of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: no fine-tuning −0.21 738
Phil. of Religion Eating animals/produds of: omnivorism 0.14 1601
Phil. of Religion Free will: compatibilism −0.22 1595
Phil. of Religion Free will: libertarianism 0.28 1592
Phil. of Religion Gender: sodal −0.14 1436
Phil. of Religion Gender categories: preserve 0.2 887
Phil. of Religion Gender categories: revise −0.14 890
Phil. of Religion God: theism 0.4 1604
Phil. of Religion Hard problem of consc: yes 0.14 941
Phil. of Religion Human genetic eng.: permissible −0.14 956
Phil. of Religion Immortality: yes 0.26 1023
Phil. of Religion Justif.: coherentism −0.14 825
Phil. of Religion Justif.: nonreliabilist found. 0.14 824
Phil. of Religion Laws of nature: Humean −0.15 1429
Phil. of Religion Meaning of life: nonexistent −0.17 1334
Phil. of Religion Meaning of life: objective 0.26 1350
Phil. of Religion Meaning of life: subjective −0.18 1352
Phil. of Religion Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.16 1547
Phil. of Religion Metaontology: heavyweight realism 0.19 618
Phil. of Religion Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.29 1315
Phil. of Religion Mind: physicalism −0.23 1524
Phil. of Religion Mind uploading: survival −0.13 897
Phil. of Religion Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.14 1500
Phil. of Religion Morality: constructivism −0.17 940
Phil. of Religion Morality: error theory −0.14 936
Phil. of Religion Morality: non-naturalism 0.23 936
Phil. of Religion Personal identity: further-fact view 0.16 1298
Phil. of Religion Personal identity: psychological view −0.17 1309
Phil. of Religion Politics: capitalism 0.2 913
Phil. of Religion Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.15 798
Phil. of Religion Principle of sufficient reason: true 0.2 872
Phil. of Religion Semantic content: minimalism 0.17 725
Phil. of Religion Truth: correspondence 0.15 1433
Phil. of Religion Truth: deflationary −0.13 1430
Phil. of Religion Well-being: desire satisfaction −0.15 847
Phil. of Religion Well-being: objective list 0.17 846
Phil. of Sodal Science Practical reason: Humean 0.14 797
Social and Political Phil. Justif.: coherentism 0.14 825
Social and Political Phil. Morality: constructivism 0.15 940
Social and Political Phil. Normative ethics: deontology 0.16 1472
Social and Political Phil. Phil. method: formal philosophy −0.13 1599
Social and Political Phil. Political philosophy: communitarianism −0.21 1297
Social and Political Phil. Political philosophy: egalitarianism 0.18 1300
Social and Political Phil. Propositional attitudes: phenomenal 0.16 702
Social and Political Phil. Propositions: acts 0.15 707

Appendix C.  Specialist effects

Table 26:

Largest specialist effects. Column S is the percentage of non-“other” answers among specialists (inclusive of combination answers). NS is the percentage of non-“other” answers among non-specialists. Differences of more than 15% are starred.

Speciality Answer S NS
17th/18th Century Philosophy Principle of sufficient reason: true 60.5 41.9 18.5 *
Aesthetics Aesthetic value: objective 75.0 52.6 22.4 *
Applied Ethics Eating animals and animal products: omnivorism (yes and yes) 40.6 55.1 −14.5
Applied Ethics Human genetic engineering: permissible 82.8 75.8 7.0
Decision Theory Newcomb’s problem: one box 22.7 46.1 −23.4 *
Epistemology A priori knowledge: yes 82.9 79.0 4.0
Epistemology Knowledge: empiricism 56.0 63.5 −7.5
Epistemology Epistemic justification: internalism 54.6 40.3 14.3
Epistemology External world: idealism 4.3 8.3 −4.1
Epistemology Knowledge claims: contextualism 49.8 71.3 −21.4 *
Epistemology Analysis of knowledge: justified true belief 20.2 30.4 −10.3
Epistemology Belief or credence: credence 29.7 43.3 −13.6
Epistemology Justification: coherentism 21.5 34.6 −13.1
Epistemology Justification: nonreliabilist foundationalism 47.4 25.7 21.6 *
Epistemology Response to external-world skepticism: dogmatist 27.6 11.7 15.9 *
Epistemology Response to external-world skepticism: epistemic externalist 31.6 19.5 12.1
Epistemology Sleeping beauty: one-third 69.4 54.3 15.1 *
General Philosophy of Science Science: scientific realism 76.5 84.3 −7.8
History of Western Philosophy Method in history of philosophy: analytic/rational reconstruction 57.9 74.1 −16.2 *
Logic and Philosophy of Logic Logic: classical 54.3 73.2 −18.9 *
Meta-Ethics Moral judgment: cognitivism 83.0 76.8 6.2
Meta-Ethics Morality: non-naturalism 39.2 28.5 10.8
Meta-Ethics Morality: constructivism 18.3 24.8 −6.5
Meta-Ethics Morality: expressivism 16.3 11.3 5.1
Meta-Ethics Normative concepts: fit 17.5 8.1 9.5
Meta-Ethics Ought implies can: yes 76.8 67.8 9.0
Metaphilosophy Aim of philosophy: understanding 73.5 62.2 11.4
Metaphilosophy Philosophical methods: conceptual analysis 62.5 78.6 −16.1 *
Metaphilosophy Philosophical knowledge: none 12.2 3.5 8.7
Metaphilosophy Philosophical knowledge: a little 22.4 36.0 −13.6
Metaphysics Abstract objects: Platonism 64.2 43.2 21.0
Metaphysics External world: skepticism 2.6 7.0 −4.4
Metaphysics Laws of nature: Humean 26.2 40.1 −14.0
Metaphysics Personal identity: psychological view 52.1 62.1 −10.1
Metaphysics Causation: count erf actual/ difference-making 39.4 50.0 −10.6
Metaphysics Causation: process /production 35.4 25.8 9.6
Metaphysics Causation: primitive 32.3 23.4 8.9
Metaphysics Interlevel metaphysics: grounding 53.1 35.5 17.6 *
Metaphysics Interlevel metaphysics: identity 24.9 12.0 12.8
Metaphysics Material composition: nihilism 5.9 17.0 −11.1
Metaphysics Metaontology: heavyweight realism 69.2 39.7 29.5 *
Metaphysics Metaontology: deflationary realism 22.7 43.0 −20.3 *
Metaphysics Principle of sufficient reason: true 36.3 47.2 −10.9
Metaphysics Properties: classes 7.9 21.2 −13.2
Metaphysics Properties: transcendent universals 35.1 24.1 11.1
Metaphysics Temporal ontology: eternalism 64.8 46.4 18.3 *
Metaphysics Time travel: metaphysically possible 60.6 46.9 13.7
Normative Ethics Normative ethics: deontology 48.7 37.2 11.5
Normative Ethics Trolley problem: switch 87.8 82.1 5.7
Normative Ethics Footbridge: push 24.2 29.4 −5.2
Normative Ethics Moral principles: moral generalism 75.9 58.6 17.4 *
Philosophy of Cognitive Science Chinese room: understands 40.2 18.9 21.3 *
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Gender: biological 15.0 35.7 −20.8 *
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Gender: social 95.3 72.4 22.9 *
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Race: biological 9.5 22.6 −13.0
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Race: social 96.2 71.5 24.7 *
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Gender categories: preserve 7.0 25.8 −18.7 *
Philosophy of Language Knowledge claims: contextualism 59.0 67.2 −8.2
Philosophy of Language Proper names: Fregean 40.3 51.6 −11.3
Philosophy of Language Truth: deflationary 36.8 28.2 8.5
Philosophy of Language Vagueness: epistemic 20.2 31.0 −10.8
Philosophy of Language Semantic content: minimalism (no more than a few) 15.8 8.9 6.9
Philosophy of Mathematics Foundations of mathematics: structuralism 52.9 30.8 22.2 *
Philosophy of Mind Mind: physicalism 66.6 60.8 5.8
Philosophy of Mind Perceptual experience: representationalism 63.8 51.9 12.0
Philosophy of Mind Zombies: inconceivable 27.1 19.6 7.4
Philosophy of Mind Concepts: nativism 46.3 35.6 10.7
Philosophy of Mind Grounds of intentionality: phenomenal 22.4 13.0 9.4
Philosophy of Mind Mind uploading: survival 39.2 31.9 7.3
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: cats 97.3 91.8 5.5
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: fish 78.3 65.9 12.3
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: flies 44.8 33.9 10.9
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: worms 29.9 24.2 5.7
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: newborn babies 94.1 87.1 7.1
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: current AI systems 0.9 4.3 −3.4
Philosophy of Mind Propositional attitudes: representational 63.4 55.2 8.1
Philosophy of Physical Science Quantum mechanics: collapse 48.1 23.8 24.3 *
Philosophy of Religion God: theism 77.8 17.0 60.8 *
Philosophy of Religion Arguments for theism: cosmological 46.8 32.1 14.7
Philosophy of Religion Arguments for theism: design 40.4 27.0 13.4
Philosophy of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: design 73.7 12.5 61.2 *
Philosophy of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: multiverse 5.3 20.9 −15.6 *
Philosophy of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: brute fact 13.7 43.9 −30.2 *
Social and Political Philosophy Political philosophy: communitarianism 22.6 38.0 −15.4 *
Social and Political Philosophy Political philosophy: egalitarianism 70.6 53.7 16.9 *
Value Theory Experience machine: yes 12.9 16.4 −3.5
Value Theory Meaning of life: objective 47.9 37.7 10.2
Value Theory Well-being: desire satisfaction 19.8 27.2 −7.4

Acknowledgments

Thanks to the staff of the Centre for Digital Philosophy, the many philosophers who helped develop and beta test the survey, and the many philosophers who took the time to answer the survey. Thanks also to two anonymous referees and the editors of Philosophers’ Imprint for extensive feedback. This work was enabled by digital infrastructure developed with a grant from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (Canada Foundation for Innovation grant #36516).

Notes

  1. This survey was also replicated and extended by Yaden & Anderson (in press).
  2. A few questions relate to previously published results. For example, results for the question “Eating animals and animal products” tend to confirm the results obtained by Schwitzgebel et al. (2021), who found that 60% of ethicists and 45% of other philosophers rate eating meat negatively on a 0-9 normative scale. We find that 44.9% of respondents accept or lean towards vegetarianism or veganism. Among respondents with an AOS in Normative Ethics, the percentage increases slightly to 48.74%. In addition, the question on philosophical method is consistent with the finding by Bonino et al. (2020) that formal methods are widely used in analytic philosophy. We found that 55.5% of respondents hold that formal philosophy is among the most useful methods.
  3. All variables were normalized and imputed (using R’s missMDA package; Josse & Husson 2016).
  4. Variance explained is measured as the sum of adjusted r-squared values for all dependent variables.
  5. To correct for these biases, we gave more or less weight to respondents to achieve a representation of attributes that matches the population.

References

Bonino, G., Maffezioli, P., & Tripodi, P. (2020). Logic in analytic philosophy: A quantitative analysis. Synthese, 198(11), 10991–11028.

Bourget, D., & Chalmers, D. J. (2014). What do philosophers believe? Philosophical Studies, 170(3), 465–500. doi: 10.1007/s11098-013-0259-710.1007/s11098-013-0259-7

Josse, J., & Husson, F. (2016). missmda: A package for handling missing values in multivariate data analysis. Journal of Statistical Software, 70(1), 1–31. Retrieved from doi: 10.18637/jss.v070.i0110.18637/jss.v070.i01

Lanteri, A., Chelini, C., & Rizzello, S. (2008). An experimental investigation of emotions and reasoning in the trolley problem. Journal of Business Ethics, 83(4), 789–804. doi: 10.1007/s10551-008-9665-810.1007/s10551-008-9665-8

Leslie, S.-J., Cimpian, A., Meyer, M., & Freeland, E. (2015). Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines. Science, 347(6219), 262–265.

Petrinovich, L., & O’Neill, P. (1996). Influence of wording and framing effects on moral intuitions. Ethology and Sociobiology, 17(3), 145–171.

Schwitzgebel, E., Bright, L. K., Jennings, C. D., Thompson, M., & Winsberg, E. (2021). The diversity of philosophy students and faculty. The Philosophers’ Magazine, 93, 71–90. doi: 10.5840/tpm2021934310.5840/tpm20219343

Schwitzgebel, E., & Cushman, F. (2012). Expertise in moral reasoning? Order effects on moral judgment in professional philosophers and non-philosophers. Mind and Language, 27(2), 135–153. doi: 10.1111/mila.2012.27.issue-210.1111/mila.2012.27.issue-2

Schwitzgebel, E., & Cushman, F. (2015). Philosophers’ biased judgments persist despite training, expertise and reflection. Cognition, 141, 127–137. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.04.01510.1016/j.cognition.2015.04.015

Yaden, D. B., & Anderson, D. E. (in press). The psychology of philosophy: Associating philosophical views with psychological traits in professional philosophers. Philosophical Psychology, 1–35. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2021.191597210.1080/09515089.2021.1915972

Appendix A.  Longitudinal comparison

Table 18:

Longitudinal comparison.

Comparable departments Same people
Qs and As 09% 20% ch. Swng 09% 20% ch. Swng
A priori knowledge
 Yes 71.1 74.8 ⇑3.7 ⇑4.3 73.9 71.5 ⇑2.4 ⇑1.5
 No 18.4 13.6 ⇑4.8 ⇑4.3 16.0 16.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.5
 Other 10.5 11.6 10.1 11.9
Abstract objects
 Platonism 39.3 37.2 ⇑2.1 ⇑0.6 37.1 39.5 ⇑2.4 ⇑3.9
 Nominalism 37.7 36.7 ⇑1.0 ⇑0.6 39.5 34.1 ⇑5.4 ⇑3.9
 Other 23.0 26.1 23.4 26.4
Aesthetic value
 Objective 41.0 37.8 ⇑3.2 ⇑3.4 36.8 36.2 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.5
 Subjective 34.5 38.1 ⇑3.6 ⇑3.4 39.8 36.2 ⇑3.6 ⇑1.5
 Other 24.5 24.1 23.4 27.6
Analytic-synthetic distinction
 Yes 64.9 63.7 ⇑1.2 ⇑2.6 65.0 64.1 ⇑0.9 ⇑1.9
 No 27.1 20.7 ⇑6.4 ⇑2.6 26.7 22.0 ⇑4.7 ⇑1.9
 Other 8.0 15.6 8.3 13.9
Epistemic justification
 Internalism 26.4 27.9 ⇑1.5 ⇑0.7 30.0 30.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.8
 Externalism 42.7 42.9 ⇑0.2 ⇑0.7 43.6 40.7 ⇑2.9 ⇑1.8
 Other 30.9 29.2 26.4 28.7
External world
 Idealism 4.3 4.0 ⇑0.3 ⇑0.5 2.7 4.2 ⇑1.5 ⇑1.5
 Skepticism 4.8 4.3 ⇑0.5 ⇑0.8 5.9 6.5 ⇑0.6 ⇑0.6
 Non-skeptical realism 81.6 83.2 ⇑1.6 ⇑1.3 81.9 79.8 ⇑2.1 ⇑2.1
 Other 9.3 8.5 9.5 9.5
Free will
 Compatibilism 59.1 62.8 ⇑3.7 ⇑3.5 60.8 62.0 ⇑l.2 ⇑2.6
 Libertarianism 13.7 12.8 ⇑0.9 ⇑1.1 12.2 12.2 ⇑14
 No free will 12.2 10.0 ⇑2.2 ⇑2.4 14.8 9.5 ⇑5.3 ⇑4.0
 Other 15.0 14.4 12.2 16.3
God
 Theism 14.6 12.5 ⇑2.1 ⇑1.8 10.1 10.7 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.0
 Atheism 72.8 74.2 ⇑1.4 ⇑1.8 78.6 77.2 ⇑1.4 ⇑1.0
 Other 12.6 13.3 11.3 12.1
Knowledge
 Empiricism 35.0 33.0 ⇑2.0 ⇑1.4 36.2 35.9 ⇑0.3 ⇑1.3
 Rationalism 27.8 28.7 ⇑0.9 ⇑1.4 30.3 27.3 ⇑3.0 ⇑1.3
 Other 37.2 38.3 33.5 36.8
Knowledge claims
 Contextualism 40.1 42.4 ⇑2.3 ⇑5.1 39.2 40.1 ⇑0.9 ⇑4.1
 Relativism 2.9 2.6 ⇑0.3 ⇑2.4 4.2 2.4 ⇑1.8 ⇑1.4
 Invariantism 31.1 21.0 ⇑10.1 ⇑7.5 31.5 22.8 ⇑8.7 ⇑5.4
 Other 25.9 34.0 25.1 34.7
Laws of nature
 Humean 24.7 24.4 ⇑0.3 ⇑4.3 25.2 25.8 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.9
 Non-humean 57.1 48.3 ⇑8.8 ⇑4.3 52.5 49.3 ⇑3.2 ⇑1.9
 Other 18.2 27.3 22.3 24.9
Logic
 Classical 51.6 39.8 ⇑11.8 ⇑6.7 52.5 44.5 ⇑8.0 ⇑4.8
 Non-classical 15.4 17.0 ⇑1.6 ⇑6.7 13.6 15.1 ⇑1.5 ⇑4.8
 Other 33.0 43.2 33.9 40.4
Mental content
 Internalism 20.0 18.2 ⇑1.8 ⇑0.4 19.9 21.1 ⇑1.2 ⇑2.2
 Externalism 51.1 50.2 ⇑0.9 ⇑0.4 51.3 48.1 ⇑3.2 ⇑2.2
 Other 28.9 31.6 28.8 30.8
Meta-ethics
 Moral realism 56.4 59.9 ⇑3.5 ⇑2.7 54.9 56.4 ⇑1.5 ⇑2.2
 Moral anti-realism 27.7 25.8 ⇑1.9 ⇑2.7 30.6 27.6 ⇑3.0 ⇑2.2
 Other 15.9 14.3 14.5 16.0
Metaphilosophy
 Naturalism 49.8 43.2 ⇑6.6 ⇑1.7 47.5 49.0 ⇑1.5 ⇑2.8
 Non-naturalism 25.9 22.7 ⇑3.2 ⇑1.7 27.0 22.8 ⇑4.2 ⇑2.8
 Other 24.3 34.1 25.5 28.2
Mind
 Physicalism 56.5 57.4 ⇑0.9 ⇑1.1 61.1 59.3 ⇑1.8 ⇑1.2
 Non-physicalism 27.1 25.8 ⇑1.3 ⇑1.1 24.3 24.9 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.2
 Other 16.4 16.8 14.6 15.8
Moral judgment
 Cognitivism 65.7 63.4 ⇑2.3 ⇑1.5 69.1 62.9 ⇑6.2 ⇑4.2
 Non-cognitivism 17.0 17.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.5 16.6 18.7 ⇑2.1 ⇑4.2
 Other 17.3 19.0 14.3 18.4
Moral motivation
 Internalism 34.9 29.6 ⇑5.3 ⇑4.4 34.7 32.6 ⇑2.1
 Externalism 29.8 33.2 ⇑3.4 ⇑4.4 34.7 32.6 ⇑2.1
 Other 35.3 37.2 30.6 34.8
Newcomb’s problem
 One box 21.3 20.1 ⇑1.2 ⇑0.5 23.1 21.7 ⇑1.4
 Two boxes 31.4 31.2 ⇑0.2 ⇑0.5 35.0 33.5 ⇑1.5
 Other 47.3 48.7 41.9 44.8
Normative ethics
 Deontology 25.9 22.5 ⇑3.4 ⇑1.5 22.8 20.8 ⇑2.0 ⇑0.4
 Consequentialism 23.6 21.3 ⇑2.3 ⇑0.5 29.4 23.7 ⇑5.7 ⇑4.0
 Virtue ethics 18.2 18.2 ⇑1.9 16.0 18.7 ⇑2.7 ⇑4.4
 Other 32.3 38.0 31.8 36.8
Perceptual experience
 Disjunctivism 11.0 1.1 ⇑0.1 ⇑1.4 9.2 8.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑0.9
 Qualia theory 12.2 10.8 ⇑1.4 ⇑0.2 16.6 12.2 ⇑4.4 ⇑3.0
 Representationalism 31.5 28.9 ⇑2.6 ⇑1.4 28.2 28.5 ⇑0.3 ⇑1.8
 Sense-datum theory 3.1 2.2 ⇑0.9 ⇑0.3 3.6 2.4 ⇑1.2 ⇑0.3
 Other 42.2 47.0 42.4 48.3
Personal identity
 Biological view 16.9 15.3 ⇑1.6 ⇑2.0 17.5 17.5 ⇑0.3
 Psychological view 33.6 37.0 ⇑3.4 ⇑3.0 35.6 37.7 ⇑2.1 ⇑2.4
 Further-fact view 12.2 11.6 ⇑0.6 ⇑1.1 10.7 7.7 ⇑3.0 ⇑2.7
 Other 37.3 36.1 36.2 37.1
Proper names
 Fregean 28.7 27.0 ⇑1.7 ⇑0.3 27.6 25.5 ⇑2.1 ⇑0.5
 Millian 34.5 32.3 ⇑2.2 ⇑0.3 35.9 34.7 ⇑1.2 ⇑0.5
 Other 36.8 40.7 36.5 39.8
Science
 Scientific realism 75.1 73.6 ⇑1.5 ⇑0.3 76.3 73.6 ⇑2.7 ⇑0.7
 Scientific anti-realism 11.6 10.6 ⇑1.0 ⇑0.3 11.6 10.4 ⇑1.2 ⇑0.7
 Other 13.3 15.8 12.1 16.0
Teletransporter
 Survival 36.2 36.0 ⇑0.2 ⇑1.7 39.5 35.9 ⇑3.6 ⇑2.2
 Death 31.1 34.3 ⇑3.2 ⇑1.7 32.9 33.8 ⇑0.9 ⇑2.2
 Other 32.7 29.7 27.6 30.3
Time
 A-theory 15.5 13.9 ⇑1.6 ⇑1.8 13.6 13.9 ⇑0.3 ⇑1.8
 B-theory 26.3 28.4 ⇑2.1 ⇑1.8 30.3 27.0 ⇑3.3 ⇑1.8
 Other 58.2 57.7 56.1 59.1
Trolley problem
 Switch 68.2 66.2 ⇑2.0 ⇑3.1 74.8 67.4 ⇑7.4 ⇑5.9
 Don’t switch 7.6 11.9 ⇑4.3 ⇑3.1 6.2 10.7 ⇑4.5 ⇑5.9
 Other 24.2 21.9 19.0 21.9
Truth
 Correspondence 50.8 44.4 ⇑6.4 ⇑3.4 48.1 46.3 ⇑1.8 ⇑0.4
 Deflationary 24.8 23.8 ⇑1.0 ⇑1.9 29.4 24.6 ⇑4.8 ⇑2.6
 Epistemic 6.9 5.4 ⇑1.5 ⇑1.5 4.7 4.7 ⇑2.2
 Other 17.5 26.4 17.8 24.4
Zombies
 Inconceivable 16.0 13.1 ⇑2.9 ⇑1.2 18.7 16.0 ⇑2.7 ⇑1.1
 Conceivable but not pos. 35.6 36.9 ⇑1.3 ⇑3.0 35.9 32.3 ⇑3.6 ⇑2.0
 Metaphysically possible 23.3 19.9 ⇑3.4 ⇑1.8 20.2 21.7 ⇑1.5 ⇑3.1
 Other 25.1 30.1 25.2 30.0

Appendix B.  Correlations

All correlations listed below have a p-value of less than 0.0001.

Table 19:

Strongest correlations between main answers.

Answer A Answer B r n
Cosmological fine-tuning: design God: theism 0.72 708
Temporal ontology: eternalism Time: A-theory −0.7 534
Consciousness: dualism Mind: physicalism −0.69 838
Abortion: permissible Cosmological fine-tuning: design −0.68 629
Mind uploading: survival Teletransporter: survival 0.65 806
Abortion: permissible God: theism −0.65 1016
Metaphilosophy: naturalism Mind: physicalism 0.62 1231
Meta-ethics: moral realism Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.6 1439
Temporal ontology: presentism Time: A-theory 0.59 535
Metaphilosophy: naturalism Morality: non-naturalism −0.58 775
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Meaning of life: objective 0.55 609
Aesthetic value: objective Meaning of life: objective 0.52 1227
God: theism Mind: physicalism −0.52 1477
Consciousness: dualism Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.52 734
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.51 619
Metaontology: heavyweight realism Truth: correspondence 0.5 575
God: theism Meaning of life: objective 0.5 1311
Consciousness: dualism Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.5 578
Normative ethics: virtue ethics Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.5 716
Philosophical knowledge Philosophical progress 0.5 986
Normative ethics: deontology Practical reason: Kantian 0.5 709
Metaontology: anti-realism Science: scientific realism −0.5 583
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Mind: physicalism −0.5 691
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Free will: libertarianism 0.5 716
Abstract objects: Platonism Properties: transcendent universals 0.5 614
A priori knowledge: yes Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes 0.5 1524
Normative ethics: consequentialism Practical reason: Humean 0.49 712
Aesthetic value: objective Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.49 1382
Political philosophy: libertarianism Politics: capitalism 0.48 720
Meaning of life: objective Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.48 1272
God: theism Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.47 1270
Meta-ethics: moral realism Morality: expressivism −0.47 903
Moral judgment: cognitivism Morality: expressivism −0.47 883
Consciousness: dualism Morality: non-naturalism 0.47 699
Meaning of life: objective Practical reason: Humean −0.47 661
Metaontology: heavyweight realism Truth: deflationary −0.46 573
Meaning of life: objective Well-being: objective list 0.46 705
Cosmological fine-tuning: multiverse Quantum mechanics: many-worlds 0.46 377
Abstract objects: Platonism Propositions: nonexistent −0.46 637
Gender: biological Gender categories: preserve 0.45 811
Free will: libertarianism God: theism 0.45 1531
Consciousness: functionalism Mind: physicalism 0.45 840
Knowledge: empiricism Metaphilosophy: naturalism 0.45 1070
Abortion: permissible Meaning of life: objective −0.45 866
Gender: social Race: social 0.45 1340
Gender: biological Race: biological 0.44 1324
Gender: social Gender categories: preserve −0.44 822
Epistemic justification: internalism Mental content: internalism 0.44 1222
Epistemic justification: internalism Justif.: reliabilism −0.44 765
Abortion: permissible Free will: libertarianism −0.44 1007
Meaning of life: objective Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.43 1097
Abortion: permissible Consciousness: dualism −0.43 765
Abstract objects: Platonism Knowledge: empiricism −0.43 1131
Abortion: permissible Mind: physicalism 0.43 970
Metaphilosophy: naturalism Phil, method: empirical phil. 0.43 1267
Consciousness: dualism God: theism 0.43 850
Abortion: permissible Metaphilosophy: naturalism 0.43 858
Possible worlds: nonexistent Propositions: nonexistent 0.43 612
Free will: libertarianism Mind: physicalism −0.43 1466
Footbridge: push Normative ethics: consequentialism 0.42 1327
Gender categories: revise Race categories: revise 0.42 686
Abortion: permissible Gender categories: preserve −0.42 762
Epistemic justification: internalism Justif.: nonreliabilist found. 0.42 763
Properties: nonexistent Propositions: nonexistent 0.42 494
Metaontology: deflationary realism Truth: deflationary 0.41 572
Meaning of life: objective Mind: physicalism −0.41 1250
Theory of reference: deflationary Truth: correspondence −0.4 684
Gender categories: preserve Race categories: preserve 0.4 686
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Morality: non-naturalism 0.4 592
Mind: physicalism Morality: non-naturalism −0.4 861
Moral principles: moral generalism Normative ethics: virtue ethics −0.4 812
Grounds of intentionality: phenomenal Propositional attitudes: phenomenal 0.4 468
Possible worlds: abstract Propositions: nonexistent −0.4 613
Meta-ethics: moral realism Practical reason: Humean −0.4 743
Consciousness: dualism Free will: libertarianism 0.4 855
Practical reason: Humean Well-being: objective list −0.4 593
Free will: libertarianism Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.39 1266
Metaontology: heavyweight realism Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.39 569
Meta-ethics: moral realism Metaontology: heavyweight realism 0.39 598
Mental content: internalism Theory of reference: descriptive 0.39 670
Metaontology: deflationary realism Truth: correspondence −0.39 574
Theory of reference: deflationary Truth: deflationary 0.39 683
Metaphilosophy: naturalism Practical reason: Humean 0.39 656
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Gender categories: preserve 0.38 536
Gender categories: eliminate Race categories: eliminate 0.38 687
Consciousness: dualism Meaning of life: objective 0.38 731
Gender categories: preserve Politics: capitalism 0.38 674
Consciousness: dualism Zombies: metaphysically possible 0.38 763
Meta-ethics: moral realism Morality: error theory −0.38 901
Aesthetic value: objective Well-being: objective list 0.38 764
Concepts: nativism Knowledge: empiricism −0.38 601
God: theism Human genetic eng.: permissible −0.38 904
Logic: classical True contradictions: impossible 0.38 690
Proper names: Fregean Theory of reference: descriptive 0.37 607
Abstract objects: Platonism Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.37 1324
Temporal ontology: growing block Time: A-theory 0.37 533
Meaning of life: objective Morality: non-naturalism 0.37 766
Grounds of intentionality: causal/teleo. Theory of reference: causal 0.37 478
Laws of nature: Humean Practical reason: Humean 0.37 693
Aesthetic value: objective Practical reason: Humean −0.37 708
Morality: non-naturalism Personal identity: further-fact view 0.37 746
Aesthetic value: objective Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.37 1330
Politics: capitalism Race: biological 0.37 808
Consciousness: dualism Hard problem of consc: yes 0.37 711
Meaning of life: objective Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.37 662
Knowledge: empiricism Morality: non-naturalism −0.36 741
External world: non-skeptical realism Science: scientific realism 0.36 1474
Abstract objects: Platonism Metaontology: heavyweight realism 0.36 552
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Immortality: yes 0.36 625
Meta-ethics: moral realism Morality: non-naturalism 0.36 901
Temporal ontology: eternalism Time travel: metaphysically possible 0.36 539
Abortion: permissible Human genetic eng.: permissible 0.36 826
Metaontology: heavyweight realism Theory of reference: deflationary −0.36 457
Aesthetic value: objective Meaning of life: subjective −0.36 1228
Meaning of life: objective Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.36 1227
A priori knowledge: yes Knowledge: empiricism −0.36 1258
Mind uploading: survival Personal identity: psychological view 0.36 733
Consciousness in AIs Mind uploading: survival 0.36 768
Logic: classical True contradictions: actual −0.36 690
Consciousness on complexity scale Other minds: newborn babies 0.36 1051
Knowledge: empiricism Laws of nature: Humean 0.36 1128
Cosmological fine-tuning: design Personal identity: further-fact view 0.36 597
Cosmological fine-tuning: brute fact God: theism −0.35 707
Aesthetic value: objective Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.35 648
Abortion: permissible Gender: social 0.35 908
Knowledge: empiricism Mind: physicalism 0.35 1212
Chinese room: understands Consciousness: dualism −0.35 691
Table 20:

Strongest correlations between region of affiliation and main answers.

Region Answer r n
Region of affiliation: Europe Aim of philosophy: wisdom −0.1 1543
Region of affiliation: Europe Capital punishment: permissible −0.14 1059
Region of affiliation: Europe Human genetic eng.: permissible −0.15 960
Region of affiliation: Europe Moral judgment: cognitivism −0.12 1530
Region of affiliation: Europe Political philosophy: libertarianism 0.11 1316
Region of affiliation: Europe Race: social −0.2 H73
Region of affiliation: Europe Race: unreal 0.17 1443
Region of affiliation: Europe Race categories: revise −0.14 834
Region of affiliation: Latin America Arguments for theism: moral 0.14 833
Region of affiliation: US Capital punishment: permissible 0.14 1059
Region of affiliation: US God: theism 0.1 1633
Region of affiliation: US Immortality: yes 0.13 1027
Region of affiliation: US Meaning of life: objective 0.11 1367
Region of affiliation: US Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.12 1574
Region of affiliation: US Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.11 1530
Region of affiliation: US Normative ethics: consequentialism −0.13 1499
Region of affiliation: US Perceptual experience: qualia theory 0.13 1128
Region of affiliation: US Race: social 0.19 H73
Region of affiliation: US Race: unreal −0.12 1443
Region of affiliation: US Well-being: hedonism/experientialism −0.14 850
Table 21:

Strongest correlations between nationality and main answers.

Region Answer r n
Nationality: Europe Aim of philosophy: wisdom −0.11 1436
Nationality: Europe Capital punishment: permissible −0.19 1007
Nationality: Europe Human genetic eng.: permissible −0.13 913
Nationality: Europe Immortality: yes −0.14 970
Nationality: Europe Meta-ethics: moral realism −0.12 1460
Nationality: Europe Moral judgment: cognitivism −0.15 1420
Nationality: Europe Morality: expressivism 0.13 895
Nationality: Europe Race: social −0.22 1380
Nationality: Europe Race: unreal 0.18 1355
Nationality: Europe Race categories: eliminate 0.14 794
Nationality: Europe Race categories: revise −0.16 794
Nationality: UK Personal identity: biological view 0.12 1233
Nationality: UK Well-being: desire satisfaction −0.15 797
Nationality: Oceania Free will: compatibilism 0.1 1502
Nationality: Oceania Properties: classes 0.16 638
Nationality: US Abortion: permissible −0.13 1022
Nationality: US Aim of philosophy: wisdom 0.12 1436
Nationality: US Capital punishment: permissible 0.18 1007
Nationality: US Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.15 706
Nationality: US God: theism 0.15 1514
Nationality: US Immortality: yes 0.16 970
Nationality: US Meaning of life: objective 0.13 1278
Nationality: US Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.13 1460
Nationality: US Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.13 1420
Nationality: US Normative ethics: consequentialism −0.13 1398
Nationality: US Perceptual experience: qualia theory 0.15 1048
Nationality: US Properties: transcendent universals 0.15 639
Nationality: US Race: social 0.2 1380
Nationality: US Race: unreal −0.15 1355
Nationality: US Zombies: metaphysically possible 0.12 1310
Table 22:

Strongest correlations between region of PhD and main answers.

Region Region r n
Region of PhD: Canada Analysis of knowledge: justified true belief 0.16 706
Region of PhD: Europe Meta-ethics: moral realism −0.14 1105
Region of PhD: Europe Political philosophy: libertarianism 0.13 907
Region of PhD: Europe Race: social −0.15 1013
Region of PhD: UK Analysis of knowledge: justified true belief −0.15 706
Region of PhD: UK Analysis of knowledge: no analysis 0.2 705
Region of PhD: UK Perceptual experience: disjunctivism 0.15 795
Region of PhD: Oceania Morality: non-naturalism −0.15 688
Region of PhD: Oceania Practical reason: Humean 0.16 592
Region of PhD: Oceania Proper names: Fregean 0.14 795
Region of PhD: US God: theism 0.12 1141
Region of PhD: US Knowledge: empiricism −0.14 908
Region of PhD: US Meaning of life: objective 0.14 953
Region of PhD: US Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.13 1105
Region of PhD: US Perceptual experience: qualia theory 0.14 793
Region of PhD: US Race: social 0.14 1013
Table 23:

Strongest correlations between year of birth and main answers. Positively correlated items are associated with younger respondents.

Answer r n
Eating animals /products of: veganism 0.27 1497
Eating animals/products of: omnivorism −0.24 1499
External-world skepticism: dogmatist 0.21 779
Gender: biological −0.19 1326
Interlevel metaphysics: grounding 0.19 595
Race: social 0.19 1358
Time travel: metaphysically possible 0.18 819
Law: legal positivism 0.17 554
External-world skepticism: semantic externalist 0.16 777
Gender: social 0.15 1339
Phil. method: conceptual engineering 0.15 1496
Morality: non-naturalism 0.15 877
Immortality: yes 0.14 960
Phil. method: empirical phil. 0.13 1496
Phil. method: formal philosophy 0.13 1496
Race: biological −0.11 1358
Table 24:

Strongest correlations between gender: female and main answers.

Answer r n
Material composition: nihilism 0.21 470
Politics: capitalism −0.19 896
External-world skepticism: pragmatic 0.19 825
Eating animals/products of: omnivorism −0.16 1598
Environmental ethics: anthropocentric −0.16 828
Race: social 0.16 1449
Gender: social 0.16 1427
Immortality: yes −0.15 1008
External world: idealism 0.15 1595
Morality: constructivism 0.15 933
Truth: epistemic 0.15 1433
Capital punishment: permissible −0.15 1045
Gender: biological −0.15 1412
Eating animals/products of: vegetarianism 0.14 1600
Laws of nature: Humean 0.14 1438
Values in science: necessarily value-laden 0.13 895
True contradictions: impossible −0.13 848
Gender categories: preserve −0.13 877
Trolley problem: switch −0.13 1419
Race: biological −0.13 1448
Eating animals/products of: veganism 0.12 1596
External world: non-skeptical realism −0.12 1592
Philosophical progress −0.12 1600
Table 25:

Strongest correlations between areas of specialization and main answers.

AOS Answer r n
17th/18th Century Phil. Consciousness: panpsychism 0.16 889
17th/18th Century Phil. External world: idealism 0.13 1595
17th/18th Century Phil. External world: non-skeptical realism −0.13 1592
17th/18th Century Phil. Practical reason: Kantian 0.15 795
19th Century Phil. External world: idealism 0.2 1595
19th Century Phil. External world: non-skeptical realism −0.14 1592
19th Century Phil. Justif.: coherentism 0.15 825
19th Century Phil. Philosophical progress −0.15 1601
19th Century Phil. True contradictions: impossible −0.17 860
19th Century Phil. Truth: correspondence −0.15 1433
19th Century Phil. Truth: epistemic 0.13 1429
20th Century Phil. Truth: correspondence −0.13 1433
Ancient Greek and Roman Phil. Normative ethics: virtue ethics 0.15 1475
Ancient Greek and Roman Phil. Political philosophy: communitarianism 0.15 1297
Ancient Greek and Roman Phil. Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.26 798
Ancient Greek and Roman Phil. Practical reason: Humean −0.22 797
Applied Ethics Analysis of knowledge: no analysis −0.14 943
Applied Ethics Moral principles: moral generalism 0.13 911
Applied Ethics Perceptual experience: sense-datum theory 0.16 1109
Asian Phil. Consciousness: panpsychism 0.18 889
Continental Phil. External world: idealism 0.18 1595
Continental Phil. External world: non-skeptical realism −0.13 1592
Continental Phil. Method hist. phil.: analytic/rational reconstruction −0.2 855
Continental Phil. Mind: physicalism −0.15 1524
Continental Phil. Phil. method: formal philosophy −0.15 1599
Continental Phil. Propositional attitudes: representational −0.21 714
Continental Phil. Science: scientific realism −0.18 1509
Continental Phil. True contradictions: actual 0.18 860
Continental Phil. True contradictions: impossible −0.2 860
Decision Theory Mind uploading: survival 0.15 897
Decision Theory Newcomb’s problem: one box −0.13 964
Decision Theory Phil. method: formal philosophy 0.14 1599
Decision Theory Politics: capitalism 0.15 913
Decision Theory Practical reason: Aristotelian −0.14 798
Decision Theory Practical reason: Humean 0.21 797
Epistemology Analysis of knowledge: justified true belief −0.13 945
Epistemology Justif.: coherentism −0.16 825
Epistemology Justif.: infinitism −0.16 815
Epistemology Justif.: nonreliabilist found. 0.16 824
Epistemology Knowledge claims: contextualism −0.18 1335
Epistemology Knowledge claims: invariantism 0.15 1332
Epistemology External-world skepticism: pragmatic −0.14 836
Feminist Phil. Eating animals/products of: veganism 0.13 1598
Feminist Phil. Gender: biological −0.13 1423
Feminist Phil. Gender: social 0.14 1436
Feminist Phil. Race: social 0.14 1452
General Phil. of Science Causation: nonexistent −0.14 802
General Phil. of Science Causation: primitive −0.14 802
General Phil. of Science Knowledge: empiricism 0.15 1288
General Phil. of Science Metaphilosophy: naturalism 0.14 1315
General Phil. of Science Normative ethics: consequentialism 0.14 1472
General Phil. of Science Phil. method: intuition-based −0.17 1599
General Phil. of Science Phil. method: linguistic philosophy −0.13 1599
General Phil. of Science Principle of sufficient reason: true −0.16 872
Logic and Phil. of Logic Phil. method: formal philosophy 0.2 1599
Logic and Phil. of Logic Principle of sufficient reason: true −0.14 872
Logic and Phil. of Logic Wittgenstein: early 0.14 864
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Abortion: permissible −0.29 1074
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Arguments for theism: cosmological 0.19 835
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Causation: primitive 0.14 802
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Cosmological fine-tuning: brute fact −0.17 741
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.3 742
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Free will: libertarianism 0.16 1592
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Gender categories: preserve 0.13 887
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. God: theism 0.25 1604
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Material composition: restrictivism 0.21 479
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Meaning of life: objective 0.13 1350
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.14 1315
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Mind uploading: survival −0.16 897
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Normative ethics: consequentialism −0.13 1472
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Normative ethics: virtue ethics 0.14 1475
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.27 798
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Practical reason: Humean −0.21 797
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Practical reason: Kantian −0.17 795
Medieval and Renaissance Phil. Principle of sufficient reason: true 0.15 872
Meta-Ethics Interlevel metaphysics: grounding 0.19 626
Meta-Ethics Phil. method: intuition-based 0.16 1599
Metaphilosophy Interlevel metaphysics: identity 0.21 619
Metaphysics Abstract objects: Platonism 0.18 1413
Metaphysics Arguments for theism: pragmatic −0.15 824
Metaphysics Continuum hypothesis: determinate 0.21 436
Metaphysics Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.16 742
Metaphysics Extended mind: yes −0.16 879
Metaphysics External world: skepticism −0.15 1593
Metaphysics Justif.: coherentism −0.18 825
Metaphysics Justif.: nonreliabilist found. 0.17 824
Metaphysics Knowledge: empiricism −0.15 1288
Metaphysics Laws of nature: Humean −0.14 1429
Metaphysics Material composition: nihilism −0.26 479
Metaphysics Metaontology: anti-realism −0.22 615
Metaphysics Metaontology: deflationary realism −0.23 616
Metaphysics Metaontology: heavyweight realism 0.29 618
Metaphysics Method hist. phil.: analytic/rational reconstruction 0.17 855
Metaphysics Morality: constructivism −0.17 940
Metaphysics Morality: non-naturalism 0.13 936
Metaphysics Other minds: newborn babies 0.13 1031
Metaphysics Properties: classes −0.21 670
Metaphysics External-world skepticism: pragmatic −0.18 836
Metaphysics Science: scientific realism 0.15 1509
Metaphysics Spacetime: relationism −0.22 574
Metaphysics Temporal ontology: eternalism 0.19 654
Metaphysics Temporal ontology: growing block −0.22 652
Metaphysics Theory of reference: deflationary −0.15 753
Metaphysics Time travel: metaphysically possible 0.13 871
Metaphysics Truth: correspondence 0.13 1433
Metaphysics Truth: epistemic −0.17 1429
Metaphysics Wittgenstein: early 0.19 864
Normative Ethics Meaning of life: objective 0.14 1350
Normative Ethics Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.15 1500
Normative Ethics Moral principles: moral generalism 0.2 911
Normative Ethics Phil. method: intuition-based 0.15 1599
Phil. of Biology Knowledge: empiricism 0.14 1288
Phil. of Biology Moral judgment: cognitivism −0.14 1500
Phil. of Cognitive Science Causation: primitive −0.14 802
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Chinese room: understands 0.13 923
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Consciousness: dualism −0.18 888
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Grounds of intentionality: causal/teleo. 0.17 648
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Grounds of intentionality: primitive −0.18 646
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Hard problem of consc: yes −0.17 941
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Justif.: nonreliabilist found. −0.16 824
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Knowledge: empiridsm 0.14 1288
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Metaphilosophy: naturalism 0.21 1315
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Mind: physicalism 0.21 1524
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Morality: non-naturalism −0.13 936
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Perceptual experience: representationalism 0.14 1120
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Phil. method: empirical phil. 0.22 1599
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Phil. method: experimental philosophy 0.15 1599
Phil. of Cognitive Sdence Pradical reason: Humean 0.14 797
Phil. of Gender: Race: and Sexuality Values in science: necessarily value-laden 0.14 907
Phil. of Language Abstract objeds: Platonism 0.14 1413
Phil. of Language Analysis of knowledge: no analysis 0.14 943
Phil. of Language Phil. method: formal philosophy 0.14 1599
Phil. of Language Phil. method: linguistic philosophy 0.23 1599
Phil. of Language Possible worlds: abstract 0.15 980
Phil. of Language Possible worlds: nonexistent −0.15 980
Phil. of Language Principle of suffident reason: true −0.16 872
Phil. of Language External-world skepticism: contextualist 0.15 824
Phil. of Law Normative ethics: deontology 0.13 1472
Phil. of Mathematics Foundations of math: logidsm −0.19 514
Phil. of Mind Other minds: newborn babies 0.13 1031
Phil. of Mind Perceptual experience: qualia theory −0.13 1113
Phil. of Mind Perceptual experience: sense-datum theory −0.21 1109
Phil. of Physical Sdence Causation: primitive −0.14 802
Phil. of Religion Abortion: permissible −0.42 1074
Phil. of Religion Aesthetic value: objective 0.16 1453
Phil. of Religion Aim of philosophy: wisdom 0.13 1514
Phil. of Religion Capital punishment: permissible 0.18 1054
Phil. of Religion Causation: counterfactual/difference-making −0.18 811
Phil. of Religion Causation: primitive 0.19 802
Phil. of Religion Chinese room: understands −0.15 923
Phil. of Religion Consciousness: dualism 0.28 888
Phil. of Religion Consciousness: fundionalism −0.22 890
Phil. of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: brute fad −0.26 741
Phil. of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: design 0.48 742
Phil. of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: multiverse −0.22 742
Phil. of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: no fine-tuning −0.21 738
Phil. of Religion Eating animals/produds of: omnivorism 0.14 1601
Phil. of Religion Free will: compatibilism −0.22 1595
Phil. of Religion Free will: libertarianism 0.28 1592
Phil. of Religion Gender: sodal −0.14 1436
Phil. of Religion Gender categories: preserve 0.2 887
Phil. of Religion Gender categories: revise −0.14 890
Phil. of Religion God: theism 0.4 1604
Phil. of Religion Hard problem of consc: yes 0.14 941
Phil. of Religion Human genetic eng.: permissible −0.14 956
Phil. of Religion Immortality: yes 0.26 1023
Phil. of Religion Justif.: coherentism −0.14 825
Phil. of Religion Justif.: nonreliabilist found. 0.14 824
Phil. of Religion Laws of nature: Humean −0.15 1429
Phil. of Religion Meaning of life: nonexistent −0.17 1334
Phil. of Religion Meaning of life: objective 0.26 1350
Phil. of Religion Meaning of life: subjective −0.18 1352
Phil. of Religion Meta-ethics: moral realism 0.16 1547
Phil. of Religion Metaontology: heavyweight realism 0.19 618
Phil. of Religion Metaphilosophy: naturalism −0.29 1315
Phil. of Religion Mind: physicalism −0.23 1524
Phil. of Religion Mind uploading: survival −0.13 897
Phil. of Religion Moral judgment: cognitivism 0.14 1500
Phil. of Religion Morality: constructivism −0.17 940
Phil. of Religion Morality: error theory −0.14 936
Phil. of Religion Morality: non-naturalism 0.23 936
Phil. of Religion Personal identity: further-fact view 0.16 1298
Phil. of Religion Personal identity: psychological view −0.17 1309
Phil. of Religion Politics: capitalism 0.2 913
Phil. of Religion Practical reason: Aristotelian 0.15 798
Phil. of Religion Principle of sufficient reason: true 0.2 872
Phil. of Religion Semantic content: minimalism 0.17 725
Phil. of Religion Truth: correspondence 0.15 1433
Phil. of Religion Truth: deflationary −0.13 1430
Phil. of Religion Well-being: desire satisfaction −0.15 847
Phil. of Religion Well-being: objective list 0.17 846
Phil. of Sodal Science Practical reason: Humean 0.14 797
Social and Political Phil. Justif.: coherentism 0.14 825
Social and Political Phil. Morality: constructivism 0.15 940
Social and Political Phil. Normative ethics: deontology 0.16 1472
Social and Political Phil. Phil. method: formal philosophy −0.13 1599
Social and Political Phil. Political philosophy: communitarianism −0.21 1297
Social and Political Phil. Political philosophy: egalitarianism 0.18 1300
Social and Political Phil. Propositional attitudes: phenomenal 0.16 702
Social and Political Phil. Propositions: acts 0.15 707

Appendix C.  Specialist effects

Table 26:

Largest specialist effects. Column S is the percentage of non-“other” answers among specialists (inclusive of combination answers). NS is the percentage of non-“other” answers among non-specialists. Differences of more than 15% are starred.

Speciality Answer S NS
17th/18th Century Philosophy Principle of sufficient reason: true 60.5 41.9 18.5 *
Aesthetics Aesthetic value: objective 75.0 52.6 22.4 *
Applied Ethics Eating animals and animal products: omnivorism (yes and yes) 40.6 55.1 −14.5
Applied Ethics Human genetic engineering: permissible 82.8 75.8 7.0
Decision Theory Newcomb’s problem: one box 22.7 46.1 −23.4 *
Epistemology A priori knowledge: yes 82.9 79.0 4.0
Epistemology Knowledge: empiricism 56.0 63.5 −7.5
Epistemology Epistemic justification: internalism 54.6 40.3 14.3
Epistemology External world: idealism 4.3 8.3 −4.1
Epistemology Knowledge claims: contextualism 49.8 71.3 −21.4 *
Epistemology Analysis of knowledge: justified true belief 20.2 30.4 −10.3
Epistemology Belief or credence: credence 29.7 43.3 −13.6
Epistemology Justification: coherentism 21.5 34.6 −13.1
Epistemology Justification: nonreliabilist foundationalism 47.4 25.7 21.6 *
Epistemology Response to external-world skepticism: dogmatist 27.6 11.7 15.9 *
Epistemology Response to external-world skepticism: epistemic externalist 31.6 19.5 12.1
Epistemology Sleeping beauty: one-third 69.4 54.3 15.1 *
General Philosophy of Science Science: scientific realism 76.5 84.3 −7.8
History of Western Philosophy Method in history of philosophy: analytic/rational reconstruction 57.9 74.1 −16.2 *
Logic and Philosophy of Logic Logic: classical 54.3 73.2 −18.9 *
Meta-Ethics Moral judgment: cognitivism 83.0 76.8 6.2
Meta-Ethics Morality: non-naturalism 39.2 28.5 10.8
Meta-Ethics Morality: constructivism 18.3 24.8 −6.5
Meta-Ethics Morality: expressivism 16.3 11.3 5.1
Meta-Ethics Normative concepts: fit 17.5 8.1 9.5
Meta-Ethics Ought implies can: yes 76.8 67.8 9.0
Metaphilosophy Aim of philosophy: understanding 73.5 62.2 11.4
Metaphilosophy Philosophical methods: conceptual analysis 62.5 78.6 −16.1 *
Metaphilosophy Philosophical knowledge: none 12.2 3.5 8.7
Metaphilosophy Philosophical knowledge: a little 22.4 36.0 −13.6
Metaphysics Abstract objects: Platonism 64.2 43.2 21.0
Metaphysics External world: skepticism 2.6 7.0 −4.4
Metaphysics Laws of nature: Humean 26.2 40.1 −14.0
Metaphysics Personal identity: psychological view 52.1 62.1 −10.1
Metaphysics Causation: count erf actual/ difference-making 39.4 50.0 −10.6
Metaphysics Causation: process /production 35.4 25.8 9.6
Metaphysics Causation: primitive 32.3 23.4 8.9
Metaphysics Interlevel metaphysics: grounding 53.1 35.5 17.6 *
Metaphysics Interlevel metaphysics: identity 24.9 12.0 12.8
Metaphysics Material composition: nihilism 5.9 17.0 −11.1
Metaphysics Metaontology: heavyweight realism 69.2 39.7 29.5 *
Metaphysics Metaontology: deflationary realism 22.7 43.0 −20.3 *
Metaphysics Principle of sufficient reason: true 36.3 47.2 −10.9
Metaphysics Properties: classes 7.9 21.2 −13.2
Metaphysics Properties: transcendent universals 35.1 24.1 11.1
Metaphysics Temporal ontology: eternalism 64.8 46.4 18.3 *
Metaphysics Time travel: metaphysically possible 60.6 46.9 13.7
Normative Ethics Normative ethics: deontology 48.7 37.2 11.5
Normative Ethics Trolley problem: switch 87.8 82.1 5.7
Normative Ethics Footbridge: push 24.2 29.4 −5.2
Normative Ethics Moral principles: moral generalism 75.9 58.6 17.4 *
Philosophy of Cognitive Science Chinese room: understands 40.2 18.9 21.3 *
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Gender: biological 15.0 35.7 −20.8 *
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Gender: social 95.3 72.4 22.9 *
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Race: biological 9.5 22.6 −13.0
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Race: social 96.2 71.5 24.7 *
Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Gender categories: preserve 7.0 25.8 −18.7 *
Philosophy of Language Knowledge claims: contextualism 59.0 67.2 −8.2
Philosophy of Language Proper names: Fregean 40.3 51.6 −11.3
Philosophy of Language Truth: deflationary 36.8 28.2 8.5
Philosophy of Language Vagueness: epistemic 20.2 31.0 −10.8
Philosophy of Language Semantic content: minimalism (no more than a few) 15.8 8.9 6.9
Philosophy of Mathematics Foundations of mathematics: structuralism 52.9 30.8 22.2 *
Philosophy of Mind Mind: physicalism 66.6 60.8 5.8
Philosophy of Mind Perceptual experience: representationalism 63.8 51.9 12.0
Philosophy of Mind Zombies: inconceivable 27.1 19.6 7.4
Philosophy of Mind Concepts: nativism 46.3 35.6 10.7
Philosophy of Mind Grounds of intentionality: phenomenal 22.4 13.0 9.4
Philosophy of Mind Mind uploading: survival 39.2 31.9 7.3
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: cats 97.3 91.8 5.5
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: fish 78.3 65.9 12.3
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: flies 44.8 33.9 10.9
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: worms 29.9 24.2 5.7
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: newborn babies 94.1 87.1 7.1
Philosophy of Mind Other minds: current AI systems 0.9 4.3 −3.4
Philosophy of Mind Propositional attitudes: representational 63.4 55.2 8.1
Philosophy of Physical Science Quantum mechanics: collapse 48.1 23.8 24.3 *
Philosophy of Religion God: theism 77.8 17.0 60.8 *
Philosophy of Religion Arguments for theism: cosmological 46.8 32.1 14.7
Philosophy of Religion Arguments for theism: design 40.4 27.0 13.4
Philosophy of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: design 73.7 12.5 61.2 *
Philosophy of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: multiverse 5.3 20.9 −15.6 *
Philosophy of Religion Cosmological fine-tuning: brute fact 13.7 43.9 −30.2 *
Social and Political Philosophy Political philosophy: communitarianism 22.6 38.0 −15.4 *
Social and Political Philosophy Political philosophy: egalitarianism 70.6 53.7 16.9 *
Value Theory Experience machine: yes 12.9 16.4 −3.5
Value Theory Meaning of life: objective 47.9 37.7 10.2
Value Theory Well-being: desire satisfaction 19.8 27.2 −7.4