Though the tools and conceptual resources of experimental philosophy (XPhi) have been fruitfully applied to longstanding debates within epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics, very little work has been done connecting XPhi to philosophy of religion. And this isn’t due to a lack of need! Philosophers of religion frequently rely on empirical claims that can be either verified or disproven, but without exploring whether they are. And philosophers of religion frequently appeal to intuitions which may vary wildly according to education level, theological background, etc., without concern for whether or not the psychological mechanisms that underwrite those intuitions are broadly shared or reliable.
The aim of this project is to kick-start broad, interdisciplinary engagement in XPhi of religion. The means for achieving this aim is a major funding initiative. To this end, key institutions, research centers, and scholars within the academic landscape were solicited to submit interdisciplinary sub-grant proposals, resulting in the following 10 research teams:
J. Knobe (Yale); M. Rea (Notre Dame); J. Schaffer (Rutgers); D. Rose (Stanford); & D. Kelemen (Boston)
S. Stich (Rutgers); J. Sytsma (VUW); N. Byrd (SIT)
D. Lim (Duke Kunshan) & R. Nichols (Fullerton)
C. Anderson (Baylor); K. Callaway (Fuller); & S. Schnitker (Baylor)
K. Scharp (St Andrews) & A. Torrance (St Andrews)
E. Machery (Pittsburgh) & A. Mehrez (CEU)
S. Nichols (Cornell); T. Kushnir (Cornell); & D. Pizarro (Cornell)
J. Wessling (Lindsey Wilson); A. Visala (Helsinki); & M. Laakasuo (Helsinki)
S. Ritchie (Edinburgh); M. Penner (Trinity Western); & J. Jong (Oxford/Coventry)
H. De Cruz (SLU) & J. De Smedt (SLU)
Our hope is that this project will be able to have a real impact on a generation of academic research in philosophy of religion—leading to trend-setting publications and enduring cross-discipline partnerships—and establishing XPhi of religion as a new, bona fide area of research.