Language and Mind through X-Phi
Associate Professor：MIZUMOTO Masaharu
epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, analytic philosophy
experimental philosophy, cultural psychology, moral psychology, semantics, contextualism
Skills and background we are looking for in prospective students
One important condition is that you like thinking. Irrespective of the current major, you should have wide interests in many topics, like language, mathematics, consciousness, free will, ethics, etc. The ability to write either in English or in Japanese is also required.
What you can expect to learn in this laboratory
How to investigate what you are really interested in with logical and scientific method.
How to plan and design questionnaire research and how to analyze the data.
How language works in mind and its role in how the mind works.
【Job category of graduates】 Researcher, office worker in general
My research area is analytic philosophy, which does philosophy through logical analysis and with scientific methods. In particular, I have done
- Philosophy of Wittgenstein (rule-following consideration, use theory of meaning, foundation of mathematics, etc.)
- Philosophy of Mind (consciousness, theory of mind, intentionality, etc.)
- Philosophy of Language (indicative conditional, contextualism, theory of truth, etc.)
- Epistemology (theory of knowledge, formal analysis of knowledge, theory of belief change, etc.)
(Books I edited)
Recently, I have been doing research on these topics mainly through empirical method, which is called experimental philosophy. This is a new movement in philosophy since 21st century, and have uncovered interesting facts about people’s mind and concepts which are philosophically important and interesting.
I have especially been concerned with the possible cultural/linguistic variance of the philosophically fundamental terms/concepts.
For example, cross-linguistic studies on the concept of knowledge, knowledge-how, truth, etc. Also, what is called the Knobe effect, or the moral asymmetry of intention attributions, and the Trolley problem, or a moral dilemma about who to save, are also studied in this laboratory.
More recently, I have been working on various traditional philosophical topics in relation to AI, especially language models.
- Epistemology for the Rest of the World. Mizumoto, Stich, McCready (eds.), Oxford University Press (2018).
- A prolegomenon to the empirical cross‐linguistic study of truth. Theoria, 88(6), 1248-1273 (2022).
- A simple linguistic approach to the Knobe effect, or the Knobe effect without any vignette. Philosophical Studies 175, 1613–1630 (2018).
Online questionnaire research platforms, software for statistical analysis, etc.
Students are expected to report the progress in their own research, at the laboratory seminar held every week.