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Do Personality Effects Mean Philosophy is Intrinsically Subjective?

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Abstract:

This paper identifies several ways in which personality informs philosophical belief. In the present study, individuals holding doctorates in philosophy were given a personality inventory and asked to respond to nine philosophical questions, seven of which produced significant sample sizes. Personality predicted response to three of these seven questions, suggesting that philosophers' beliefs are determined in part by their personalities. This is taken as evidence that philosophy is intrinsically subjective, a claim which is herein developed more completely and defended against several objections.

Keywords: Big Five; conscientiousness; dualism; embodiment; emotion; experimental philosophy; expertise; greeableness; individual differences; intuition; metaphilosophy; neuroethics; neuroticism;; openness; personality; rationality; subjectivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Philosophy Program, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016, Email: geoffreyholtzman@gmail.com

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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