The reality of the intuitive

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):371-385 (2017)
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According to current methodological orthodoxy philosophers rely on intuitions about thought experiments to refute general claims about the nature of knowledge, freedom, thought, reference, justice, beauty, etc. Philosophers working under the banner of ‘negative experimental philosophy’ have criticized more traditional philosophers for relying on this method. They argue that intuitions about thought experiments are influenced by factors that are irrelevant to the truth of their contents. Cappelen and Deutsch defend traditional philosophy against this critique by rejecting the picture of philosophical methodology it presupposes: philosophers do not really rely on intuitions. In this paper, I defend methodological orthodoxy by arguing that philosophers must rely on intuitions somewhere and that they do in fact often rely on intuitions about thought experiments. I also argue in favor of a reply to the negative experimental critique that is similar to at least part of Deutsch’s own.

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Elijah Chudnoff
University of Miami

Citations of this work

The threat of the intuition-shaped hole.Ethan Landes - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (4):539-564.
Evidence in Logic.Ben Martin & Ole Thomassen Hjortland - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton M. Littlejohn (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.

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References found in this work

Philosophy Without Intuitions.Herman Cappelen - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Theory of knowledge.Keith Lehrer - 2000 - Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.
Intuition.Elijah Chudnoff - 2013 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Theory of Knowledge.Keith Lehrer - 1990 - Boulder, Colo.: Routledge.
The Myth of the Intuitive.Max Deutsch - 2015 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

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