WHERE DO ACADEMIC PHILOSOPHERS STAND ON REALITY, MORALITY, & GOD?

Of course the so-called argument from authority doesn’t amount to an argument or any kind of proof.  Everyone could be wrong, after all.  But if we didn’t give some weight to authority you’d have to dismiss everything your teacher told you in school which you didn’t observe yourself.  So asking what the experts say is of some value.

So where do the ‘authorities’ who study the questions of God’s existence, the nature of the world beyond the senses, and what morality is like stand?  When the greatest minds who have devoted themselves to these questions get together and mull over all the arguments that history has produced, what do they conclude?

A survey published in PhilPapers asking academic philosophers 30 different multiple choice questions has broken it down for us.  It turns out that a significant majority of Philosophers are Moral Realists, Atheists, Scientific Realists and Physicalists/Materialists.

Here’s the stats on these few:

Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?

Accept or lean toward: moral realism 1017 / 1803 (56.4%)
Accept or lean toward: moral anti-realism 511 / 1803 (28.3%)
Other 275 / 1803 (15.2%)

Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?

Other 558 / 1803 (30.9%)
Accept or lean toward: consequentialism 435 / 1803 (24.1%)
Accept or lean toward: virtue ethics 406 / 1803 (22.5%)
Accept or lean toward: deontology 404 / 1803 (22.4%)

God: theism or atheism?

Accept or lean toward: atheism 1257 / 1803 (69.7%)
Accept or lean toward: theism 295 / 1803 (16.3%)
Other 251 / 1803 (13.9%)

External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?

Accept or lean toward: non-skeptical realism 1382 / 1803 (76.6%)
Other 170 / 1803 (9.4%)
Accept or lean toward: skepticism 128 / 1803 (7%)
Accept or lean toward: idealism 123 / 1803 (6.8%)

Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?

Accept or lean toward: scientific realism 1264 / 1803 (70.1%)
Accept or lean toward: scientific anti-realism 287 / 1803 (15.9%)
Other 252 / 1803 (13.9%)

Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?

Accept or lean toward: non-Humean 919 / 1803 (50.9%)
Accept or lean toward: Humean 521 / 1803 (28.8%)
Other 363 / 1803 (20.1%)

Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?

Accept or lean toward: physicalism 981 / 1803 (54.4%)
Accept or lean toward: non-physicalism 521 / 1803 (28.8%)
Other 301 / 1803 (16.6%)

 

~Paul Chiariello

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