Analysis 69 (4):689-694 (2009)

Machery et al. reported some preliminary evidence that intuitions about reference vary within and across cultures, and they argued that if real, such variation would have significant philosophical implications. In a recent article, Genoveva Martí argues that the type of intuitions examined by Machery and colleagues is evidentially irrelevant for identifying the correct theory of reference, and she concludes that the variation in the relevant intuitions about reference within and across cultures has not been established.To substantiate this criticism, Martí draws a distinction between two types of intuitions: metalinguistic intuitions and what we will call ‘linguistic’ intuitions. Metalinguistic intuitions are judgements about the semantic properties of mentioned words, while, if we understand Martí correctly, linguistic intuitions are judgements about the individuals described in the actual and possible cases used by philosophers of language. These judgements would be expressed by sentences using words rather than mentioning them. An example might clarify this distinction. In Kripke's Gödel case, the judgement that the proper name ‘Gödel’ refers to Gödel and not to Schmidt is a metalinguistic intuition, since it is about the reference of the proper name ‘Gödel’; by contrast, the judgement that in this case Gödel should not have claimed credit for the incompleteness theorem is a linguistic intuition. Because Martí holds that only linguistic intuitions provide evidence for determining how reference is fixed and because Machery and colleagues used a question that elicited metalinguistic intuitions, she concludes that the variation in the relevant intuitions about reference …
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anp095
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Précis of the Origin of Concepts.Susan Carey - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (3):113-124.
If Folk Intuitions Vary, Then What?Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):618-635.

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