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The PhilPapers Survey

Today, we are joined by David Bourget. David is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Western University in London, Ontario. David is also the co-director of the PhilPapers Foundation and Director of the Center for Digital Philosophy. He joins us to discuss the PhilPapers Survey project.

David began by explaining what the PhilPapers Index is about. At its core, it is a comprehensive bibliography of philosophy and philosophers’ paradigms on issues. He also talked about the PhilPapers survey. The PhilPapers survey aimed to gather philosophers’ opinions on different philosophical topics.

David spoke extensively about the survey: the number of questions, the type of questions, the sample size, etc. On the survey results, he discussed situations where there was consensus and where there were diverging responses.

The PhilPapers survey was initially taken in 2009, but there was a follow-up survey in 2020. David discussed the need for the subsequent survey and what changed. He mentioned the metric for measuring the opinion changes between the 2009 and 2020 surveys. He also shared future plans for the PhilPapers surveys.

Rounding up, David gave his thoughts on how recent AI development may affect philosophers’ opinions on machine consciousness.


The 2020 PhilPapers Survey:

David Bourget’s website:

David Bourget’s Twitter: @dbourget.

David Bourget

I'm an associate professor in philosophy and director of the Centre for Digital Philosophy at Western University (previously known as the University of Western Ontario). I obtained my PhD in philosophy at the Australian National University under the supervision of David Chalmers, Daniel Stoljar, and Frank Jackson. I also hold a BSc in computer science from l'Université Laval.