Intuitions in linguistics

Abstract
Linguists take the intuitive judgments of speakers to be good evidence for a grammar. Why? The Chomskian answer is that they are derived by a rational process from a representation of linguistic rules in the language faculty. The paper takes a different view. It argues for a naturalistic and non-Cartesian view of intuitions in general. They are empirical central-processor responses to phenomena differing from other such responses only in being immediate and fairly unreflective. Applying this to linguistic intuitions yields an explanation of their evidential role without any appeal to the representation of rules. Introduction The evidence for linguistic theories A tension in the linguists' view of intuitions Intuitions in general Linguistic intuitions Comparison of the modest explanation with the standard Cartesian explanation A nonstandard Cartesian explanation of the role of intuitions? Must linguistics explain intuitions? Conclusion
Keywords Cartesianism  Intuition  Language  Linguistics  Phenomena
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Citations of this work BETA
Steven Gross & Jennifer Culbertson (2011). Revisited Linguistic Intuitions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):639-656.
Jennifer Culbertson & Steven Gross (2009). Are Linguists Better Subjects? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):721-736.
Michael Devitt (2011). Experimental Semantics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):418 - 435.
Gareth Fitzgerald (2009). Linguistic Intuitions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):45.

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