David Chalmers and David Bourget have developed an abnormally interesting philosophical survey. They imaginatively call it “The Philosophical Survey.” They target it at professional philosophers and their fellow travelers, graduate students, etc. but seem to welcome all comers. However, not exactly falling very near the target set and not having an institutional affiliation, I decided not to formally submit my efforts for inclusion in the eventual published results.
I did learn quite a bit from answering the questions and I think others with abnormal interests may find the process a valuable benchmark for their philosophical knowledge. While I worry that both my kids would be appalled at my efforts, there was only one of the thirty questions where I didn’t have a real clue as to what the question was about and four or five others where I was not clear enough on the definitions of some of the terms to understand all the various answer choices. By the way, most questions had, “not clear,” none of the above,” “all of the above” or the like as options.
The 30 questions cover metaphysics, epistemology, ethics (both applied and metaethics) and aesthetics from an analytic perspective. A few questions had philosophy of science twists but were, in my view, still in the general neighborhood of metaphysics and epistemology. Then, I think philosophy of science is no more and no less than an important subset of metaphysics and epistemology. In fact, I sometimes think philosophy of science is such a large subset of metaphysics and epistemology that there isn’t room for anything else. Please don’t get me going on this. Or is it too late?.
Here’s how Chalmers and Bourget describe the survey,
The survey contains thirty questions, each giving a choice between 2-4 views on a philosophical issue. Respondents can indicate that they accept or lean toward one of the options or can give one of a variety of “other” answers. We have kept the questions as simple as possible, as clarification would be a never-ending process. The survey also asks for some optional background information.