MOVING TO FRONT FROM DECEMBER 10 TO ENCOURAGE MORE COMMENTS FROM READERS
The results of the survey organized by Chalmers & Bourget are now available. Chalmers comments on them here. The results can be searched in a variety of ways--by the "target faculty" (i.e., faculty at 99 leading PhD-granting programs), by graduate student responses, even undergraduate students. I'm just going to canvass a few results that caught my attention. Following the "coarse" results (as they call them), I will lump together those who "accept" a certain view and those who "lean" towards it.
To start, it's not a surprise that with 931 responses from target faculty, 72.8% are atheists, and only 14.6% theists. (That correlates nicely, one suspects, with the 13.7% who are libertarians about free will!) On the other hand, when the survey includes another 900 or so philosophers who weren't among the target faculty, the percentage of atheists drops slightly to 69.7% and the number of theists increases to 16.3%. With 829 graduate students responding, a full 20.8% are theists, while 63.5% are atheists. (And, perhaps unsurprisingly, among graduate students, 19.3% are libertarians about free will!)
Perhaps more notable given journalistic portrayals of the humanities as hotbeds of moral relativism and skepticism is that 56.3% of target faculty are moral realists, while only 27.7% are anti-realists--and among those who work in normative ethics, nearly two-thirds (62.5%) are moral realists! (The rest hold some mix of opinions, which you can see by choosing the fine-grained results on the survey page.) Journalists take note: more than half of philosophers at PhD-granting programs believe there are objective moral truths! (An odd sidenote: nearly two-thirds of philosophers are cognitivists, which means, I suppose, that there are more error theorists about moral judgment out there than one might have supposed. Also striking is that there are many more moral anti-realists--35.1%--among graduate students!)
In the meta-philosophy category, not quite half (49.8%) consider themselves naturalists, while a quarter (25.8%) self-identify as non-naturalists (among those with an AOS of meta-ethics, only 44.1% are naturalists!). I think this is rather compelling evidence that, contrary to a lot of philosophical rhetoric, we aren't all naturalists now! (How depressing!) But I begin to wonder what kinds of naturalists these folks are when it turns out that 71.1% of respondents think there is a priori knowledge, and nearly two-thirds (64.8%) accept the analytic-synthetic distinction (maybe just in the thin sense Putnam identified years ago?).
Anyway, that's just a taste. Readers are invited to post their thoughts on the results or additional interesting results in the comments section. Please submit your comment only once, they may take awhile to appear.