David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 140 (1):19 - 46 (2008)
Frank Jackson has argued that only if we have a priori knowledge of the extension-fixers for many of our terms can we vindicate the methodological practice of relying on intuitions to decide between philosophical theories. While there has been much discussion of Jackson's claim that we have such knowledge, there has been comparatively little discussion of this most powerful argument for that claim. Here I defend an alternative explanation of our intuitions about possible cases, one that does not rely on a priori extension-fixers. This alternative explanation provides a vindication of our reliance on intuitions, while blocking Jackson's abductive argument for a priori semantic knowledge. In brief, I argue that we should regard our armchair intuitions as providing an important, a priori source of evidence for hypotheses about the contents of our implicit referential policies with regard to our terms. But all such hypotheses have a potential falsifier that is only discoverable empirically. In other words, gold-standard evidence for such hypotheses is always empirical
|Keywords||Intuition A priori knowledge Reference Two-dimensional semantics Philosophical method|
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References found in this work BETA
Ned Block & Robert Stalnaker (1999). Conceptual Analysis, Dualism, and the Explanatory Gap. Philosophical Review 108 (1):1-46.
David Braddon-Mitchell (2004). Masters of Our Meanings. Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):133-52.
David J. Chalmers (2002). On Sense and Intension. Philosophical Perspectives 16 (s16):135-82.
David J. Chalmers & Frank Jackson (2001). Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation. Philosophical Review 110 (3):315-61.
Janice Dowell, J. L. (2006). The Physical: Empirical, Not Metaphysical. Philosophical Studies 131 (1):25-60.
Citations of this work BETA
Sonia Roca-Royes (2011). Conceivability and De Re Modal Knowledge. Noûs 45 (1):22-49.
Laura Schroeter (2013). Two-Dimensional Semantics and Sameness of Meaning. Philosophy Compass 8 (1):84-99.
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