Quantitative methods in philosophy of language
Embargo Lift Date: 2021-07-30
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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In this paper, I survey and defend the use of quantitative methods in philosophy of language. Quantitative methods in philosophy of language include a wide variety of methods, ranging from model‐based techniques (computer simulations and mathematical models) to data‐driven approaches (experimental philosophy and corpus‐based studies). After offering a few case studies of these methodologies in action, I single out some debates in philosophy of language that are especially well served by their use. These are cases in which quantitative methods increase precision, improve the accuracy and reliability of results, and allow philosophers of language to borrow from other fields the best epistemic practices available. I conclude with some far‐reaching considerations about the role of qualitative and quantitative methods in debates about philosophical methodology.