What is experimental philosophy? Comedian Eugene Mirman demonstrates experimental philosophy in this viral video which questions both intent and public reaction to philosophical, or more aptly put, moral issues.
Anyone who has studied philosophy to any degree can argue that it is a discipline that is difficult to approach from a quantitative perspective. Even Sociology appears on the surface to be a discipline that favors qualitative research methods. That being said, it can be done.
Although I kept searching for the funny in this video (come on, it was created by a comedian), it never came. What did follow was an excellent philosophical question: Why do we see harm as intentional while we view help as less intentional?
Mirman uses an example of the president of a large company making a decision that affects the environment both positively and negatively; he then asks the viewers to decide whether what the president did was intentional or unintentional.
View the results for yourself. This “study,” not rigorous by any stretch of the imagination, should still make you think. What was immediately called to mind when I watched it was the recent U.S. presidential election.
Do we jump to blame our leaders, both political and financial, when they do something wrong and then turn around and shrug our shoulders when they do something right, summing their success up to sheer coincidence?
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