The literature on mathematics suggests that intuition plays a role in it as a ground of belief. This article explores the nature of intuition as it occurs in mathematical thinking. Section 1 suggests that intuitions should be understood by analogy with perceptions. Section 2 explains what fleshing out such an analogy requires. Section 3 discusses Kantian ways of fleshing it out. Section 4 discusses Platonist ways of fleshing it out. Section 5 sketches a proposal for resolving the main (...) problem facing Platonists—the problem of explaining how our experiences make contact with mathematical reality. (shrink)
NOTE: this is a substantial revision of a previously uploaded draft. Intuitions are often thought of as inputs to theoretical reasoning. For example, you might form a belief by taking an intuition at face value, or you might take your intuitions as starting points in the method of reflective equilibrium. The aim of this paper is to argue that in addition to these roles intuitions also play action-guiding roles. The argument proceeds by reflection on the transmission of justification through (...) inference. According to inferential internalists, in order to gain justification for believing the conclusion of an argument by inferring it from the premises in that argument one must “see” that the premises support the conclusion. I motivate this view and endorse the idea that one’s “seeing” such a support relation consists of one’s having an intuition. In a number of recent papers, Paul Boghossian has pressed a regress argument against inferential internalism inspired by Lewis Carroll’s dialogue “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles.” I develop a response to Bogossian’s argument according to which intuitions work like mental imperatives and inferences are mental actions performed by obeying them. After developing this response to Boghossian’s argument, I take up the question of what it is in virtue of which intuitions play a guidance role, when they do so. (shrink)
An argument is epistemically self-defeating when either the truth of an argument’s conclusion or belief in an argument’s conclusion defeats one’s justification to believe at least one of that argument’s premises. Some extant defenses of the evidentiary value of intuition have invoked considerations of epistemic self-defeat in their defense. I argue that there is one kind of argument against intuition, an unreliability argument, which, even if epistemically self-defeating, can still imply that we are not justified in thinking (...) class='Hi'>intuition has evidentiary value. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that appeals to intuition are strong arguments just in case there is an agreement among the relevant philosophers concerning the intuition in question. Otherwise, appeals to intuition are weak arguments.
According to the most popular non-skeptical views about intuition, intuitions justify beliefs because they are based on understanding. More precisely: if intuiting that p justifies you in believing that p it does so because your intuition is based on your understanding of the proposition that p. The aim of this paper is to raise some challenges for accounts of intuitive justification along these lines. I pursue this project from a non-skeptical perspective. I argue that there are cases in (...) which intuiting that p justifies you in believing that p, but such that there is no compelling reason to think this is because your intuition is based on your understanding of the proposition that p. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that appeals to intuition are weak arguments because intellectual intuition is an unreliable belief-forming process, since it yields incompatible verdicts in response to the same cases, and since the inference from 'It seems to S that p' to 'p' is unreliable. Since the reliability of intellectual intuition is a necessary condition for strong appeals to intuition, it follows that appeals to intuition are weak arguments.
A discussion of George Bealer's conception and defense of rational intuition as a basis of philosophical knowledge, under three main heads: a) the phenomenology of intellectual intuition; b) the status of such intuition as a basic source of evidence, and the explanation of what gives it that status; and c) the defense of intuition against those who would reject it and exclude it on principle from the set of valid sources of evidence.
Philosophers have traditionally held that claims about necessities and possibilities are to be evaluated by consulting our philosophical intuitions; that is, those peculiarly compelling deliverances about possibilities that arise from a serious and reflective attempt to conceive of counterexamples to these claims. But many contemporary philosophers, particularly naturalists, argue that intuitions of this sort are unreliable, citing examples of once-intuitive, but now abandoned, philosophical theses, as well as recent psychological studies that seem to establish the general fallibility of intuition.In (...) the first two sections of this paper, I evaluate these arguments, and also the counter-arguments of contemporary defenders of tradition. In the next two sections, I sketch an alternative account of the role of philosophical intuitions that incorporates elements of traditionalism and naturalism - and defend it against other such views. In the final section, however, I discuss intuitions about conscious experience, and acknowledge that my view may not extend comfortably to this case. This may seem unfortunate, since so much contemporary discussion of the epistemology of modality seems motivated by worries about the mind-body problem, and informed by the position one wishes to endorse. But, as I argue, if conscious experience is indeed an exception to the view I suggest in this paper, it is an exception that proves - and can illuminate - the rule. (shrink)
Jonathan Weinberg (2007) has argued that we should not appeal to intuition as evidence because it cannot be externally corroborated. This paper argues for the normative claim that Weinberg’s demand for external corroboration is misguided. The idea is that Weinberg goes wrong in treating philosophical appeal to intuition analogous to the appeal to evidence in the sciences. Traditional practice is defended against Weinberg’s critique with the argument that some intuitions are true simply in virtue of being intuited by (...) the majority of people. The argument proceeds by way of examining a paradigm case, Putnam’s Twin Earth. (shrink)
Intuition serves a variety of roles in contemporary philosophy. This paper provides a historical discussion of the revival of intuition in the 1970s, untangling some of the ways that intuition has been used and offering some suggestions concerning its proper place in philosophical investigation. Contrary to some interpretations of the results of experimental philosophy, it is argued that generalized skepticism with respect to intuition is unwarranted. Intuition can continue to play an important role as part (...) of a methodologically conservative stance towards philosophical investigation. I argue that methodological conservatism should be sharply distinguished from the process of evaluating individual propositions. Nevertheless, intuition is not always a reliable guide to truth and experimental philosophy can serve a vital ameliorative role in determining the scope and limits of our intuitive competence with respect to various areas of inquiry. (shrink)
Many philosophers accept a view according to which intuitions are crucial evidence in philosophy. Recently, Williamson (2004, 2007: ch. 1) has argued that such views are best abandoned because they lead to a psychologistic conception of philosophical evidence that encourages scepticism about the armchair judgements relied upon in philosophy. In this paper I respond to this criticism by showing how the intuition picture can be formulated in such a way that: (i) it is consistent with a wide range of (...) views about not only philosophical evidence but also the nature of evidence in general, including Williamson's famous view that E = K; (ii) it can maintain the central claims about the nature and role of intuitions in philosophy made by proponents of the intuition picture; (iii) it does not collapse into Williamson's own deflationary view of the nature and role of intuitions in philosophy; and (iv) it does not lead to scepticism. (shrink)
In this article, I will discuss the relationship between mathematical intuition and mathematical visualization. I will argue that in order to investigate this relationship, it is necessary to consider mathematical activity as a complex phenomenon, which involves many different cognitive resources. I will focus on two kinds of danger in recurring to visualization and I will show that they are not a good reason to conclude that visualization is not reliable, if we consider its use in mathematical practice. Then, (...) I will give an example of mathematical reasoning with a figure, and show that both visualization and intuition are involved. I claim that mathematical intuition depends on background knowledge and expertise, and that it allows to see the generality of the conclusions obtained by means of visualization. (shrink)
This thesis seeks to advance our understanding of what intuitions are. I argue that there is a class of mental states deserving of the label ‘intuition’, and which is a good candidate for a psychological kind, a kind which cuts the mind at its natural joints. These mental states are experiences of a certain kind. In particular, they are experiences with representational content, and with a certain phenomenal character.
A simple reductive view of intuition holds that intuition is a type of belief. That an agent who intuits that p sometimes believes that p is false is often thought to demonstrate that the simple reductive view is false. I show that this argument is inconclusive, but also that an argument for the same conclusion can be rebuilt using the notion of rational criticisability. I then use that notion to argue that perception is also not reducible to belief, (...) and that neither intuition nor perception is reducible to credence. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that the opposition between the two main methods of mathematics, the axiomatic and the analytic method, is first of all an opposition between intuition and <span class='Hi'>discourse</span>, and, in addition, an opposition between the socalled demonstrative and non-demonstrative reasoning. These two methods, however, are not on a par because the view that the method of mathematics is the axiomatic method is refuted by Goedel's incompleteness results, which on the contrary do not affect the (...) view that the method of mathematics is the analytic method. (shrink)
Psychologists and philosophers use the term 'intuition' for a variety of different phenomena. In this paper, I try to provide a kind of a roadmap of the debates, point to some confusions and problems, and give a brief sketch of an empirically respectable philosophical approach.
Despite its phenomenal success since its inception in the early nineteen-nineties, the evidence-based medicine movement has not succeeded in shaking off an epistemological critique derived from the experiential or tacit dimensions of clinical reasoning about particular individuals. This critique claims that the evidence-based medicine model does not take account of tacit knowing as developed by the philosopher Michael Polanyi. However, the epistemology of evidence-based medicine is premised on the elimination of the tacit dimension from clinical judgment. This is demonstrated through (...) analyzing the dichotomy between clinical and statistical intuition in evidence-based medicine’s epistemology of clinical reasoning. I argue that clinical epidemiology presents a more nuanced epistemological model for the application of statistical epidemiology to the clinical context. Polanyi’s theory of tacit knowing is compatible with the model of clinical reasoning associated with clinical epidemiology, but not evidence-based medicine. (shrink)
The foundation of Mathematics is both a logico-formal issue and an epistemological one. By the first, we mean the explicitation and analysis of formal proof principles, which, largely a posteriori, ground proof on general deduction rules and schemata. By the second, we mean the investigation of the constitutive genesis of concepts and structures, the aim of this paper. This “genealogy of concepts”, so dear to Riemann, Poincaré and Enriques among others, is necessary both in order to enrich the foundational analysis (...) with an often disregarded aspect (the cognitive and historical constitution of mathematical structures) and because of the provable incompleteness of proof principles also in the analysis of deduction. For the purposes of our investigation, we will hint here to a philosophical frame as well as to some recent experimental studies on numerical cognition that support our claim on the cognitive origin and the constitutive role of mathematical intuition. (shrink)
Some recent researches in experimental philosophy have posed a problem for philosophers’ appeal to intuition (hereinafter referred to as PAI); the aim of this paper is to offer an answer to this challenge. The thesis against PAI implies that, given some experimental results, intuition does not seem to be a reliable epistemic source, and —more importantly— given the actual state of knowledge about its operation, we do not have sufficient resources to mitigate its errors and thus establish its (...) reliability. That is why PAI is hopeless. Throughout this paper I will defend my own conception of PAI, which I have called the Deliberative Conception, and consequently, I will defend intersubjective agreement as a means to mitigate PAI errors, offering empirical evidence from recent studies on the Argumentative Theory of Reason that favor the conception I defend here. Finally, I will reply to some objections that might arise against the Deliberative Conception, which will lead me to discuss some metaphilosophical issues that are significantly relevant for the future of the dispute about the appeal to intuition. (shrink)
Kirsten Besheer has recently considered Descartes’ doubting appropriately in the context of his physiological theories in the spirit of recent important re-appraisals of his natural philosophy. However, Besheer does not address the notorious indubitability and its source that Descartes claims to have discovered. David Cunning has remarked that Descartes’ insistence on the indubitability of his existence presents “an intractable problem of interpretation” in the light of passages that suggest his existence is “just as dubitable as anything else”. However, although the (...) cogito argument is widely thought to be central to the force of Descartes’ indubitability, for his part, Cunning does not consider its relevance and force. Accordingly, this article is concerned with the cogito argument and the question central to Hintikka’s seminal contribution, described by Cottingham as “Perhaps the most debated question,” namely, whether or not the cogito can be construed as a logical inference. Clearly, an inferential account has the potential to explain the certainty of Descartes’ conclusion that he exists. Recently, Sarkar offers what he characterizes as “novel and fairly conclusive reasons why the cogito cannot be construed as an argument,” asserting “the discovery of the cogito can only be an intuition not a deduction.” Obviously, it would greatly support the opposing inferential construal if a remotely plausible logical argument could be proposed. Toward this end, I defend the virtues of my ‘Diagonal’ account of Descartes’ cogito Above all, I show how my analysis meets the requirement that any satisfactory solution to the problem of the cogito would reconcile Descartes’ claim that the cogito is a certain inference with his claim that it is an intuitive kind of knowledge. Through a critical discussion of analyses such as that of Gallois , I show that it is possible to provide a textually faithful analysis that permits seeing the cogito as both inference and intuition because it may be seen as an exercise in the mathematical method of Analysis. Above all, as Feldman requires, I show that the Diagonal account is not only textually elegant, but permits crediting Descartes with a worthy insight, thereby resolving the tension between what Howell has termed the Humean and Cartesian problems, namely, the elusiveness and the certainty of the self. (shrink)
This essay attempts to show why deliberation is not of ends for Aristotle, not only because deliberation is concerned with means, but because ends are grasped by wish. Such wishing, I argue, is a form of rational intuition that is non-discursive and analogous to seeing and therefore not at all like the discursive thought involved in deliberation. Such a reading also helps shed light on the nature of contemplation and therefore on happiness in Aristotle.
Linguists, particularly in the generative tradition, commonly rely upon intuitions about sentences as a key source of evidence for their theories. While widespread, this methodology has also been controversial. In this paper, I develop a positive account of linguistic intuition, and defend its role in linguistic inquiry. Intuitions qualify as evidence as form of linguistic behavior, which, since it is partially caused by linguistic competence (the object of investigation), can be used to study this competence. I defend this view (...) by meeting two challenges. First, that intuitions are collected through methodologically unsound practices, and second, that intuition cannot distinguish between the contributions of competence and performance systems. (shrink)
Abstract Both parties in the active philosophical debate concerning the conceptual character of perception trace their roots back to Kant's account of sensible intuition in the Critique of Pure Reason. This striking fact can be attributed to Kant's tendency both to assert and to deny the involvement of our conceptual capacities in sensible intuition. He appears to waver between these two positions in different passages, and can thus seem thoroughly confused on this issue. But this is not, in (...) fact, the case, for, as I will argue, the appearance of contradiction in his account stems from the failure of some commentators to pay sufficient attention to Kant's developmental approach to philosophy. Although he begins by asserting the independence of intuition, Kant proceeds from this nonconceptualist starting point to reveal a deeper connection between intuitions and concepts. On this reading, Kant's seemingly conflicting claims are actually the result of a careful and deliberate strategy for gradually convincing his readers of the conceptual nature of perception. (shrink)
The present paper offers an analogical support for the use of rational intuition, namely, if we regard sense perception as a mental faculty that (in general) delivers justified beliefs, then we should treat intuition in the same manner. I will argue that both the cognitive marks of intuition and the role it traditionally plays in epistemology are strongly analogous to that of perception, and barring specific arguments to the contrary, we should treat rational intuition as a (...) source of prima facie justified beliefs. There are two main arguments against the intuition-perception analogy that I will consider and find lacking. First is that while we do use perceptions as evidence to believe certain propositions, in fact no one ever does use intuition evidentially. The second argument, stemming from experimental philosophy, grants that philosophers do use intuitions evidentially, but this practice is fatally unlike that of perception, in that perception yields warranted beliefs and intuition does not. (shrink)
Several authors have hailed intuition as one of the defining features of expertise. In particular, while disagreeing on almost anything that touches on human cognition and artificial intelligence, Hubert Dreyfus and Herbert Simon agreed on this point. However, the highly influential theories of intuition they proposed differed in major ways, especially with respect to the role given to search and as to whether intuition is holistic or analytic. Both theories suffer from empirical weaknesses. In this paper, we (...) show how, with some additions, a recent theory of expert memory (the template theory) offers a coherent and wide-ranging explanation of intuition in expert behaviour. It is shown that the theory accounts for the key features of intuition: it explains the rapid onset of intuition and its perceptual nature, provides mechanisms for learning, incorporates processes showing how perception is linked to action and emotion, and how experts capture the entirety of a situation. In doing so, the new theory addresses the issues problematic for Dreyfus’s and Simon’s theories. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Multiple realizability has recently attractedrenewed attention, for example Bickle, 1998;Bechtel and Mundale, 1999; Bechtel and McCauley,1999; Heil, 1999; and Sober, 1999. Many of thesewriters revisit the topic of multiplerealizability in order to show that someversion of a mind-brain identity theory isviable. Although there is much of value inthese recent explorations, they do not addressthe underlying intuitions that have vexedphilosophers of mind since Hilary Putnamintroduced the concern (1967). I argue that thestandard way of construing multiplerealizability is a much stronger claim thanthat (...) of Putnam's intuition alone. I distinguishfour interpretations of the multiplerealizability intuition. Some commonformulations of multiple realizability arealmost certainly true, while others are not atall plausible. I argue that the plausible formsof multiple realizability do not impugn theprospects for a mind-brain Identity Theory. (shrink)
How do business leaders make ethical decisions? Given the significant and wide-spread impact of business people’s decisions on multiple constituents (e.g., customers, employees, shareholders, competitors, and suppliers), how they make decisions matters. Unethical decisions harm the decision makers themselves as well as others, whereas ethical decisions have the opposite effect. Based on data from a study on strategic decision making by 16 effective chief executive officers (and three not-so-effective ones as contrast), I propose a model for ethical decision making in (...) business in which reasoning (conscious processing) and intuition (subconscious processing) interact through forming, recalling, and applying moral principles necessary for long-term success in business. Following the CEOs in the study, I employ a relatively new theory, rational egoism, as the substantive content of the model and argue it to be consistent with the requirements of long-term business success. Besides explaining the processes of forming and applying principles (integration by essentials and spiraling), I briefly describe rational egoism and illustrate the model with a contemporary moral dilemma of downsizing. I conclude with implications for further research and ethical decision making in business. (shrink)
In “Weighing Lives” (2004) John Broome criticizes a view common to many population axiologists. On that view, population increases with extra people leading decent lives are axiologically neutral: they make the world neither better nor worse, ceteris paribus. Broome argues that this intuition, however, attractive, cannot be sustained, for several independent reasons. I respond to his criticisms and suggest that the neutrality intuition, if correctly interpreted, can after all be defended.On the version I defend,the world with added extra (...) people at wellbeing levels within the neutrality range is incommensurable in value with the world in which these peaople are absent. (shrink)
Contextual theories of truth are motivated primarily by the resolution they provide to paradoxical reasoning about truth. The principal argument for contextual theories of truth relies on a key intuition about the truth value of the proposition expressed by a particular utterance made during paradoxical reasoning, which Anil Gupta calls “the Chrysippus intuition.” In this paper, I argue that the principal argument for contextual theories of truth is circular, and that the Chrysippus intuition is false. I conclude (...) that the philosophical motivation for contextual theories of truth fails. (shrink)
It is alleged that the causal inertness of abstract objects and the causal conditions of certain naturalized epistemologies precludes the possibility of mathematical know- ledge. This paper rejects this alleged incompatibility, while also maintaining that the objects of mathematical beliefs are abstract objects, by incorporating a naturalistically acceptable account of ‘rational intuition.’ On this view, rational intuition consists in a non-inferential belief-forming process where the entertaining of propositions or certain contemplations results in true beliefs. This view is free (...) of any conditions incompatible with abstract objects, for the reason that it is not necessary that S stand in some causal relation to the entities in virtue of which p is true. Mathematical intuition is simply one kind of reliable process type, whose inputs are not abstract numbers, but rather, contemplations of abstract numbers. (shrink)
In this thesis I seek to advance our understanding of what intuitions are. I argue that intuitions are experiences of a certain kind. In particular, they are experiences with representational content, and with a certain phenomenal character. -/- In Chapter 1 I identify our target and provide some important reliminaries. Intuitions are mental states, but which ones? Giving examples helps: a person has an intuition when it seems to her that torturing the innocent is wrong, or that if something (...) is red it is coloured. We can also provide an initial characterisation of the state by saying that it has representational content, often causes belief, and appears to justify belief. In addition, there is something it is like to have an intuition: intuition has a certain phenomenal character. -/- Some argue that intuition does not explain anything which cannot be explained by other mental states. One version of this view takes intuition to reduce to belief. In Chapter 2 I argue that this entails that agents are rationally criticisable in situations where we know they are not, and that such views are therefore untenable. A parallel argument shows that the corresponding approach to perception fails. This suggests a similarity in nature: both intuition and perception are experiences. -/- Others take intuition to reduce to a disposition to have a belief. In Chapter 3 I consider a line of argument against such views, find it unsuccessful, and present two new arguments. One is likely to be dialectically ineffective. The other suffers no such weakness: it shows that the proposed reduction fails. As before, the argument also applies to perception, and suggests that intuition and perception are both experiences. -/- In the remainder of the thesis I develop an account of intuition as an experience. I distinguish between content-specific and attitude-specific phenomenology, and argue that intuition lacks the former (Chapter 4), but has the latter (Chapter 5). This allows us to say what intuition is: it is is an experience with representational content and with attitude-specific phenomenology of a certain kind. -/- In Chapter 6 I put this account of intuition to use. When a person has a perceptual or intuitional experience, I argue that simply having the experience is what makes the subject justified in believing what the experience represents. Moreover, what explains that intuition and perception can justify belief in this way is precisely their phenomenal character. (shrink)
The award of the 2003 Barwise Prize to Daniel Dennett by the American Philosophical Association signifies Dennett’s importance in the developing area of philosophical inquiry into computing and information. One source of Dennett’s intellectual stature is his command of scientific and engineering ideas, which he effectively applies to philosophical debates over machine intelligence, consciousness, and intentionality. Dennett regards the computer as both a model and a tool that will transform the ways that philosophy is pursued in the 21st century. (...) In order to understand Dennett’s conception of how philosophy changes and fares, if his mechanistic and reductionist conception of the life of the mind succeeds, we turn to an examination of a central idea in Dennett’s thought: the intuition pump. (shrink)
The importance of unconscious cognition is seeping into popular consciousness. A number of recent books bridging the academic world and the reading public stress that at least a portion of decision-making depends not on conscious reasoning, but instead on cognition that occurs below awareness. However, these books provide a limited perspective on how the unconscious mind works and the potential power of intuition. This essay is an effort to expand the picture. It is structured around the book that has (...) garnered the most attention, Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink (2005), but it also considers Gut Feelings by Gerd Gigerenzer (2007) and How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman (2007). These books help deepen the .. (shrink)
Gilbert’s four modes of communication include the logical, the emotional, the visceral and the kisceral, which last has not received much attention at all. This mode covers the forms of argument that rely on intuition and undefended basal assumptions. These forms range from the scientific and mathematical to the religious and mystical. In this paper these forms will be examined, and suggestions made for ways in which intuitive frameworks can be compared and valued.
Husserlian variation, Bergsonian intuition and Peircean abduction are contrasted as methodological responses to the traditional philosophical problem of deriving knowledge of universals from singulars. Each method implies a correspondingly different view of the generation of the variations from which knowledge is derived. To make sense of the latter differences, and to distinguish the different sorts of variation sought by philosophers and scientists, a distinction between extensive, intensive, and abductive-intensive variation is introduced. The link between philosophical method and the generation (...) of variation is used to illuminate different philosophical conceptions of nature and nature's relation to meaning and sense. (shrink)
Intuition in medical and moral reasoning -- Moral intuitionism -- The place of Aristotelian phronesis in clinical reasoning -- Aristotle's practical syllogism: accounting for the individual through a theory of action and cognition -- Individual and statistical physiognomy: the art and science of making the invisible visible -- Clinical intuition versus statistical reasoning -- Contingency and correlation: the significance of modeling clinical reasoning on statistics -- Abduction: the intuitive support of clinical induction -- Conclusion: medical ethics beyond ontology.
A companion paper explored the role of intuition in the genesis of an alternative theory for the secretion of pancreatic digestive enzymes, looking through the lens of three philosophers/historians of science. Gerald Holton, the last scholar, proposed that scientific imagination is shaped by a number of thematic presuppositions, which function largely below awareness. They come in pairs of opposites that alternately gain cultural preeminence. The current paper examines three thematic presuppositions inherent to both the generally accepted model for digestive (...) enzyme secretion and most consciousness-centered views of higher-level cognition—discreteness, reduction, and simplicity. Since they often build on each other, together they are referred to as the simplicity worldview . Also considered are the three opposite thematic assumptions inherent to both the alternative model for digestive enzyme secretion and intuition-friendly views of higher-level cognition—the continuum, holism, and complexity—together referred to as the complexity worldview . The article highlights the potential importance to scientific knowledge of this currently less favored worldview. (shrink)
The well-known game of chess has traditionally been modeled in artificial intelligence studies by search engines with advanced pruning techniques. The models were thus centered on an inference engine manipulating passive symbols in the form of tokens. It is beyond doubt, however, that human players do not carry out such processes. Instead, chess masters instead carry out perceptual processes, carefully categorizing the chunks perceived in a position and gradually building complex dynamic structures to represent the subtle pressures embedded in the (...) positions. In this paper we will consider two hypotheses concerning the underlying subcognitive processes and architecture. In the first hypothesis, a multiple-leveled chess representational structure is presented, which includes distance graphs (with varying levels of quality) between pieces, piece mobilities, and abstract roles. These representational schemes seem to account for numerous characteristics of human player’s psychology. The second hypothesis concerns the extension of the architecture proposed in the Copycat project as central for modeling the emergent intuitive perception of a chess position. We provide a synthesis on how the postulated architecture models chess intuition as an emergent mixture of simultaneous distance estimations, chunk perceptions, abstract role awareness, and intention activations. This is an alternative model to the traditional AI approaches, focusing on the philosophy of active symbols. (shrink)
The role of intuition in scientific endeavor is examined through the lens of three philosophers/historians of science—Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, and Gerald Holton. All three attribute an important role to imagination/intuition in scientific endeavor. As a case study, the article examines the controversy between the generally accepted Vesicular Sequestration/Exocytosis Model of pancreatic digestive enzyme secretion and an alternative view called the Equilibrium Model. It highlights the intertwining of intuition and reason in the genesis of the Equilibrium Model (...) developed in response to findings that could not readily be explained by the consensus view. It suggests that tacit knowledge/understanding works in conjunction with philosophical and aesthetic presuppositions that function to a greater or lesser extent below awareness. Together they guide judgments about whether falsification has occurred and help frame alternative theories. (shrink)
The Principle of Procreative Beneficence (PPB) claims that we have a moral obligation, where choice is possible, to choose to create the best child we can. The existence of this moral obligation has been proposed by John Harris and Julian Savulescu and has proved controversial on many levels, not least that it is eugenics, asking us to produce the best children we can, not for the sake of that child's welfare, but in order to make a better society. These are (...) strong claims that require robust justification that can be open to scrutiny and debate. This article argues that robust justifications are currently lacking in the work of Savulescu and Harris. The justifications provided for their conclusions about this obligation to have the best child possible rely heavily on Derek Parfit's Non-Identity Problem and the intuitive response this provokes in many of us. Unfortunately Harris and Savulescu do not embrace the entirety of the Non-Identity Problem and the puzzle that it presents. The Non-Identity Problem actually provides a refutation of PPB. In order to establish PPB as a credible and defendable principle, Harris and Savulescu need to find what has eluded Parfit and many others: a solution to the Non-Identity Problem and thus an overturning of the refutation it provides for PPB. While Harris and Savulescu do hint at possible but highly problematic solutions to the Non-Identity Problem, these are not developed or defended. As a result their controversial is left supported by little more than intuition. (shrink)
This article is mainly a critique of Philip Kitcher's book, The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge. Four weaknesses in Kitcher's objection to Kant arise out of Kitcher's failure to recognize the perspectival nature of Kant's position. A proper understanding of Kant's theory of mathematics requires awareness of the perspectival nuances implicit in Kant's theory of pure intuition. (Apologies that the pdf of this article was prepared with every other page upside down. Take it as an opportunity to practice changing one's (...) perspective!). (shrink)
This chapter explores how morality can be rational if moral intuitions are resistant to rational reflection. There are two parts to this question. The normative problem is whether there is a model of moral justification which can show that morality is a rational enterprise given the facts of moral dumbfounding. Appealing to the model of reflective equilibrium for the rational justification of moral intuitions solves this problem. Reflective equilibrium views the rational justification of morality as a back-and-forth balancing between moral (...) theory and moral intuition, and therefore does not require that individual moral intuitions be directly responsive to rational reflection. The psychological problem is whether human psychology actually implements the processes required for reflective equilibrium. The psychological problem is far more difficult, and requires appealing to a dual-process view of moral judgement that regards moral intuitions and moral theories as belonging to different mental systems. (shrink)
In this essay I will examine the role that intuition plays in Russell's parado; showing how different appraaches to intuition will license different treatments of the paradox. In addition, I will argue for a specific approach to the paradox, one that follows from the most plausible account of intuition. On this account, intuitions, though fallible, have episternic import. In addition, the intuitions involved in paradoxes point to something wrong with concept that leads to paradox. In the case (...) of Russell's paradox, this is an ambiguity in the notion of a class. (shrink)
Bynum (Putting information first: Luciano Floridi and the philosophy of information. NY: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) identifies Floridi’s focus in the philosophy of information (PI) on entities both as data structures and as information objects. One suggestion for examining the association between the former and the latter stems from Floridi’s Herbert A. Simon Lecture in Computing and Philosophy given at Carnegie Mellon University in 2001, open problems in the PI: the transduction or transception, and how we gain knowledge about the world as (...) a complex, living, information environment. This paper addresses PI across a model of interoperating levels: perception (P)—intuition (N)—computation (C)—information (I), as factored by cognitive continuity (1), temporality (2), and constitution (3). How might we begin to characterize our experience of an abstract information object across such a matrix? Chudnoff’s rationalist distinctions between perception and intuition serve as a first rung of the ladder. Turing’s brief references to the utility of intuition, in an allied, rationalist-Cartesian sense, provide the next step up to computation. Floridi provides the final link from computation to information. (shrink)
According to a widely held view, a Kantian intuition functions like a singular term. I argue that this view is false. Its apparent plausibility, both textual and philosophical, rests on attributing to Kant a Fregean conception of judgment. I show that Kant does not hold a Fregean conception of judgment and argue that, as a consequence, intuition cannot be understood on analogy with singular terms.
The paper defends causal explanationism concerning our modal intuitions and judgments, and, in particular, the following claims. If a causally explainable mirroring or pre-established harmony between our mind and modal reality obtains, we are justified in believing it does. We do not hold our modal beliefs compulsively and blindly but with full subjective and objective justification. Therefore, causal explanation of our modal beliefs does not undermine rational trust in them. Explanation and trust support each other. In contrast, anti-explanationists (from Kant, (...) through neo-wittgensteinians to T. Nagel and J. Pust), claim that causal explanation of intuitions and judgments undermines rational trust in them. They especially target causal explanation in terms of pre-established harmony between our mind, shaped by causal processes, and the underlying modal structure of reality. The paper argues against them. The argument builds upon the claim that the appeal to modal facts is indispensable for systematization and explanation of non-modal ones. Therefore, we should assume that modal facts exist and are not disjoint and isolated from actual facts. The modal structure of the universe intervenes in the non-modal reality. Causal processes indirectly carry information about deep modal structure. Any (reasonable candidate) causal explanation of our intuitional modal beliefs should start from this indirect contact with and information about modal facts. Therefore, if our intuitional modal beliefs are true and causally explainable (by a factual, non-modal explanans), they are true in virtue of the deep underlying modal structure. They are sensitive to modal reality and track it. We can come to know this fact, and thus strengthen our spontaneous trust in our modal intuitions. (shrink)