Lessons From the Park, from The Chronicle

Joshua Knobe, a newly minted Ph.D. from Princeton University, has rocked the philosophical establishment and earned a place at the leading edge of the discipline in a new field called “experimental philosophy.” The field uses the empirical tools of psychology to address philosophical questions, designing experiments to test how ordinary people think.

A modern-day Socrates, this Knobe. Particularly interesting to me is this bit:

“Joshua went out and did these experiments, showing that at least one common-sense psychological concept — doing something intentionally — isn’t really a descriptive concept, it’s a moral concept,” says Mr. Stich. “Part of people’s judgments about whether you act intentionally is what they take to be the moral status of what you’ve done.”

But the best part:

And Mr. Knobe, 31, has barely started his first tenure-track job. He will begin teaching philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall.

How cool are we? And here’s Knobe’s site.