What "Intuitions" are Linguistic Evidence?

Erkenntnis 73 (2):251 - 264 (2010)
In "Intuitions in Linguistics" (2006a) and Ignorance of Language (2006b) I took it to be Chomskian orthodoxy that a speaker's metalinguistic intuitions are provided by her linguistic competence. I argued against this view in favor of the alternative that the intuitions are empirical theory-laden central-processor responses to linguistic phenomena. The concern about these linguistic intuitions arises from their apparent role as evidence for a grammar. Mark Textor, "Devitt on the Epistemic Authority of Linguistic Intuitions" (2009), argues that I have picked the wrong intuitions: I should have picked non-judgmental linguistic "seemings". These reside between metalinguistic judgments and linguistic performances and have an epistemic authority that the orthodox view may well be able to explain. Textor seems to think that the metalinguistic intuitions are not evidence at all. I argue that he is wrong about that. More importantly, I argue that there are no "in-between" linguistic seemings with epistemic authority.
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
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DOI 10.2307/40929387
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References found in this work BETA
Michael Devitt (2006). Intuitions in Linguistics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):481-513.
Jennifer Culbertson & Steven Gross (2009). Are Linguists Better Subjects? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):721-736.

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