Intuition is sometimes derided as an abstruse or esoteric phenomenon akin to crystal-ball gazing. Such derision appears to be fuelled primarily by the suggestion, evidently endorsed by traditional rationalists such as Plato and Descartes, that intuition is a kind of direct, immediate apprehension akin to perception. This paper suggests that although the perceptual analogy has often been dismissed as encouraging a theoretically useless metaphor, a quasi-perceptualist view of intuition may enable rationalists to begin to meet the challenge of supplying a (...) theoretically satisfying treatment of their favoured epistemic source. It is argued, first, that intuitions and perceptual experiences are at a certain level of abstraction the same type of mental state, presentations, which are distinct from beliefs, hunches, inclinations, attractions, and seemings. The notion of a presentation is given a positive explication, which identifies its characteristic features, accounts for several of its substantive psychological roles, and systematically locates it in a threefold division among types of contentful states. Subsequently, it is argued that presentations, intuitive no less than sensory, are by their nature poised to play a distinctive epistemic role. Specifically, in the case of intuition, we encounter an intellectual state that is so structured as to provide justification without requiring justification in turn—something which may, thus, be thought of as ‘given’. (shrink)
Knowledge how to do things is a pervasive and central element of everyday life. Yet it raises many difficult questions that must be answered by philosophers and cognitive scientists aspiring to understand human cognition and agency. What is the connection between knowing how and knowing that? Is knowledge how simply a type of ability or disposition to act? Is there an irreducibly practical form of knowledge? What is the role of the intellect in intelligent action? This volume contains fifteen state (...) of the art essays by leading figures in philosophy and linguistics that amplify and sharpen the debate between "intellectualists" and "anti-intellectualists" about mind and action, highlighting the conceptual, empirical, and linguistic issues that motivate and sustain the conflict. The essays also explore various ways in which this debate informs central areas of ethics, philosophy of action, epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Knowing How covers a broad range of topics dealing with tacit and procedural knowledge, the psychology of skill, expertise, intelligence and intelligent action, the nature of ability, the syntax and semantics of embedded questions, the mind-body problem, phenomenal character, epistemic injustice, moral knowledge, the epistemology of logic, linguistic competence, the connection between knowledge and understanding, and the relation between theory and practice. This is the book on knowing how--an invaluable resource for philosophers, linguists, psychologists, and others concerned with knowledge, mind, and action. (shrink)
Some things we can know just by thinking about them: for example, that identity is transitive, that Gettier’s Smith does not know that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pockets, that the ratio between two and six holds also between one and three, that it is wrong to wantonly torture innocent sentient beings, and various other things that simply strikeus, intuitively, as true when we consider them. The question is how : how can we (...) know things just by thinking about them? (shrink)
Perhaps it is a pity that the Theory of Knowledge and the Theory of Conduct have fallen into separate compartments. (It certainly was not so in Socrates’ time, as his interest in the relation between eidos and technê bears witness.) If we studied them together, perhaps we might have a better understanding of both. H.H. Price, Thinking and Representation..
Philosophical Methodology offers an up-to-date assessment of different methods of doing philosophy, and develops a novel account of the structure and goals of inquiry. It allows philosophers and students of philosophy to better understand their topics, and shows how philosophy can continue to make progress in answering its central questions.
It has been claimed that the attempt to analyze know-how in terms of propositional knowledge over-intellectualizes the mind. Exploiting the methods of so-called “experimental philosophy”, we show that the charge of over-intellectualization is baseless. Contra neo-Ryleans, who analyze know-how in terms of ability, the concrete-case judgments of ordinary folk are most consistent with the view that there exists a set of correct necessary and sufficient conditions for know-how that does not invoke ability, but rather a certain sort of propositional knowledge. (...) To the extent that one’s considered judgments agree with those of the folk (or to the extent that one is unwilling to contravene widespread judgments), this constitutes a strong prima facie case against neo-Ryleanism. (shrink)
Whither the philosophy of intuition?Herman Cappelen’s Philosophy Without Intuitions (PWI) is a novel study in philosophical sociology—or, as Cappelen at one point suggests, “intellectual anthropology” (96).All undated references are to Cappelen (2012). Its target is the thesis that intuition is central, in the descriptive sense that contemporary analytic philosophers rely on intuitions for evidence—or, more generally, positive epistemic status. Cappelen labels the target thesis Centrality.If Centrality is true, then especially urgent are two questions in the rapidly growing field that is (...) the philosophy of intuition:[Q1] What are intuitions?[Q2] Can intuitions serve as evidence?There are of course others, but in chapter one Cappelen singles out these two as The Burning Questions about intuition. He then summarizes the overall upshot of PWI as follows:In this book I argue that Centrality, on any reasonable interpretation, is false. If you share that view, the Burning Questions will no lo .. (shrink)
This paper seeks to clarify one of the deepest questions about the source or ground of normativity, while also presenting an essence-based approach to answering it. We call it the ‘Arché Question.’ Though all metanormative theories must address this question, very few realists have explicitly grappled with the challenge it poses; those who have appear to deny any need to give an answer. After critically discussing extant realist responses, this paper outlines an essence-based approach to answering the Arché Question that (...) draws on theoretical resources forged in recent advances in post-modal metaphysics. (shrink)
Conceptualism is the thesis that, for any perceptual experience E, (i) E has a Fregean proposition as its content and (ii) a subject of E must possess a concept for each item represented by E. We advance a framework within which conceptualism may be defended against its most serious objections (e.g., Richard Heck's argument from nonveridical experience). The framework is of independent interest for the philosophy of mind and epistemology given its implications for debates regarding transparency, relationalism and representationalism, demonstrative (...) thought, phenomenal character, and the speckled hen objection to modest foundationalism. (shrink)
Abstract: Recent experimental research on the 'Knobe effect' suggests, somewhat surprisingly, that there is a bi-directional relation between attributions of intentional action and evaluative considerations. We defend a novel account of this phenomenon that exploits two factors: (i) an intuitive asymmetry in judgments of responsibility (e.g. praise/blame) and (ii) the fact that intentionality commonly connects the evaluative status of actions to the responsibility of actors. We present the results of several new studies that provide empirical evidence in support of this (...) account while disconfirming various currently prominent alternative accounts. We end by discussing some implications of this account for folk psychology. (shrink)
This compilation of references includes all references for the knowledge-how chapters included in Bengson & Moffett's edited volume. The volume and the compilation of references may serve as a good starting point for people who are unfamiliar with the philosophical literature on knowledge-how.
We offer a reconstruction of Richard Price’s intuition-based epistemology of normative essences, highlighting its key elements and showing how it differs from the approaches taken by other intuitionists such as Thomas Reid and G. E. Moore, as well as sentimentalists such as Francis Hutcheson and David Hume. While our analysis aims to shed light on Price’s moral epistemology, it also seeks to contribute to contemporary debates about the epistemology of essence, advancing a general intuition-based theory. These two goals are related, (...) for the former operates in the service of the latter. In this way, our discussion illustrates the role that historical research might play in contemporary inquiries into intuition. (shrink)
The Projectability Challenge states that a metaethical view must explain how ordinary agents can, on the basis of moral experience and reflection, accurately and justifiably apply moral concepts to novel situations. In this paper, we argue for two primary claims. First, paradigm nonnaturalism can satisfactorily answer the projectability challenge. Second, it is unclear whether there is a version of moral naturalism that can satisfactorily answer the challenge. The conclusion we draw is that there is an important respect in which nonnaturalism (...) holds an advantage over its most prominent naturalist rivals. The conclusion is interesting if only because it is widely assumed that naturalism has an easier time handling thorny problems in moral epistemology. We argue that there is at least one such problem of which this assumption is not true. (shrink)
The notion of a non-sensory mental state or event that plays a prominent role in coming to understand, an epistemic achievement distinct from mere knowledge, featured prominently in historical writings on philosophy, and philosophical methodology. It is, however, completely absent from contemporary discussions of the subject. This paper argues that intuition plays an epistemic role in understanding, including philosophical understanding, and offers an explanation of how intuition manages to play this role, if and when it does. It is argued, subsequently, (...) that this role is autonomous, in the sense that a source of understanding cannot be reduced to a source of justification, evidence, or reason. Finally, it is noted that such autonomy implies that popular forms of skepticism about intuition do not impugn intuition’s epistemic significance with respect to its status as a source of understanding. (shrink)
Perceiving things to be a certain way may in some cases lead directly to action that is intelligent. This phenomenon has not often been discussed, though it is of broad philosophical interest. It also raises a difficult question: how can perception produce intelligent action? After clarifying the question—which I call the question of “practical perception”—and explaining what is required for an adequate answer, I critically examine two candidate answers drawn from work on related topics: the first, inspired by Hubert Dreyfus's (...) phenomenological analysis of absorbed coping, focuses on awareness of situational features; the other, suggested by Gilbert Ryle's classic treatment of knowledge-how, focuses on possession of behavioral dispositions. I argue that neither approach is adequate. Subsequently, I develop and defend an alternative answer that emphasizes the agent's conceptual understanding. (shrink)
An overview of philosophical work on the distinction between knowledge how and knowledge that, focusing on what it means to say that they are 'distinct', and on what is at stake in the debate between intellectualists and anti-intellectualists about knowledge how.