Experimental Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion


  • Daniel F. Lim Center for Analytic Philosophy Renmin University of China 59 Zhongguancun Street Beijing 100872




Experimental Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mind, Zombie, Phenomenal Consciousness


Experimental Philosophy is a new and controversial movement that challenges some of the central findings within analytic philosophy by marshalling empirical evidence. The purpose of this short paper is twofold: (i) to introduce some of the work done in experimental philosophy concerning issues in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics and (ii) to connect this work with several debates within the philosophy of religion. The provisional conclusion is that philosophers of religion must critically engage experimental philosophy.


Appiah, K. 2008. “Experimental Philosophy”, in: Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 82 (2): 7-22.

Arico, A., Fiala, B., Goldberg, R., & Nichols, S. 2011. “The Folk Psychology of Consciousness”, in: Mind and Language, 26 (3): 327-352. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0017.2011.01420.x

Atran, S. 2005. In Gods We Trust. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Barrett, J. 2004. Why Would Anyone Believe in God? Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.

Block, N. 1978. Troubles with Functionalism. In W. Savage, Perception and Cognition: Issues in the Foundations of Psychology. Minneapolis, MN: Univ. of Minnesota Press.

Bloom, P. 2009. Religious Belief as an Evolutionary Accident. In J. Schloss, & M. Murray, The Believing Primate: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Byrne, P. 2008. Helm’s God and the Authorship of Sin. In M. Stone, Reason, Faith and History: Philosophical Essays for Paul Helm. Burlington: Ashgate.

Chalmers, D. 1996. The Conscious Mind. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Fiala, B., Arico, A., & Nichols, S. 2014. “You, Robot”, in E. Machery, & E. O’Neill, Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy: 31-47. New York: Routledge.

Flew, A. 2003. “Human Freewill and Divine Predestination”, in Philosophy Now, 40: 27-29.

Helm, P. 1993. The Providence of God. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press.

Helm, P. 2010. “God, Compatibilism, and the Authorship of Sin”, in: Religious Studies, 46 (1): 115-124. doi:10.1017/S0034412509990345.

Jackson, F. 1982. “Epiphenomenal Qualia”, in: Philosophical Quarterly, 32: 127-136. doi:10.2307/2960077.

Jackson, F. 1998. From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defense of Conceptual Analysis. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Knobe, J. 2014. “Free Will and the Scientific Vision”, in E. Machery, & E. O’Neill, Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. New York: Routledge.

Kripke, S. 1982. Naming and Necessity. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

Levine, J. 2001. Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Machery, E., & O’Neill, E. 2014. Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. New York: Routledge.

Machery, E., Mallon, R., Nichols, S., & Stich, S. 2004. “Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style”, in: Cognition, 92: B1-B12. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2003.10.003.

Machery, E., Mallon, R., Nichols, S., & Stich, S. 2013. “If Folk Intuitions Vary, Then What?”, in: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 86: 618-635. doi:10.1111/j.1933-1592.2011.00555.x.

Maimonides, M. 1996. The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on Ethics. (J. Gorfinkle, Trans.) New York: AMS Press.

Moreland, J. 1998. “Searle’s Biological Naturalism and the Argument from Consciousness”, in: Faith and Philosophy, 15: 68-90. doi:10.5840/faithphil19981513.

Moreland, J. 2008. Consciousness and the Existence of God: A Theistic Argument. New York: Routledge.

Nagel, T. 1974. “What is it like to be a Bat?”, in: The Philosophical Review, 83(4): 435-450. doi:10.2307/2183914.

Nahmias, E., & Thompson, M. 2014. “A Naturalistic Vision of Free Will”, in: E. Machery, & E. O’Neill, Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. New York: Routledge.

Nahmias, E., Morris, S., Nadelhoffer, T., & Turner, J. 2006. “Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?”, in: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 73: 28-53. doi:10.1111/j.1933-1592.2006.tb00603.x.

Nichols, S., & Knobe, J. 2007. “Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions”, in: Noûs, 43: 663-685. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0068.2007.00666.x.

Papineau, D. 2002. Thinking About Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Pike, N. 1965. “Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action”, in: Philosophical Review, 74 (1): 27-46. doi:10.2307/2183529.

Sytsma, J., & Machery, E. 2010. “Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience”, in: Philosophical Studies, 151 (2): 299-327. dx:10.1007/s11098-009-9439-x.

Volf, M. 2011. Allah: A Christian Response. New York: Harper Collins.



How to Cite

Lim, Daniel F. 2017. “Experimental Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (3):139-58. https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.v9i3.1985.