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)
According to a popular view in philosophy, intuition is a singular propositional attitude. In this paper, I outline an opposite account on “garden-variety intuition”, i.e. intuition that people experience in their daily lives. The account is based on a distinction between intuition on the processing level, ‘intuitive belief’ and ‘intuition that p’. Immediacy and certainty prove to be the phenomenal features of intuitive beliefs and intuitions that p. Regarding the processing level, I suggest to combine dual-process theory and the theory (...) of mental models, and I claim that this results in non-propositional intuitions. Finally, I argue that non-propositional intuitions are fundamental for garden-variety intuition: They constitute inclinations to believe, possibly resulting in intuitive beliefs or intuitions that p. (shrink)
رغم تنوع مصادر المعرفة، ما بين حسية تجريبية وعقلية استدلالية وعقلية حدسية مباشرة، إلا أن هذه الأخيرة تكاد تكون سمةً مُميزة وفارقة للكشف العلمي، فلئن كان الكشف العلمي يخطو أولى خطواته بدهشة حسية، ويصاحب في طريقه نمطًا من أنماط الاستدلال العقلي المنطقي، إلا أنه في جوهره لا يعدو أن يكون قفزة حدسية مباشرة لا تُكتسب بالتجربة أو بالجهد الواعي للعقل. وما نعنيه هنا بالحدس هو تلك الرؤية الكلية المباشرة للمعاني العقلية المجردة، أو ما دعاه «إدموند هوسرل» بالقدرة على إدراك الماهيات. (...) وبهذا المعنى يمثل الحدس ضربًا من المعرفة الميتافيزيقية المجاوزة لإدراكات الحواس والنشاط الواعي للعقل. (shrink)
This work investigates intuitions' nature, demonstrating how philosophers can best use them in epistemology. First, the author considers several paradigmatic thought experiments in epistemology that depict the appeal to intuition. He then argues that the nature of thought experiment-generated intuitions is not best explained by an a priori Platonism. Second, the book instead develops and argues for a thin conception of epistemic intuitions. The account maintains that intuition is neither a priori nor a posteriori but multi-dimensional. It is an intentional (...) but non-propositional mental state that is also non-conceptual and non-phenomenal in nature. Moreover, this state is individuated by its progenitor, namely, the relevant thought experiment. Third, the author provides an argument for the evidential status of intuitions based on the correct account of the nature of epistemic intuition. The suggestion is the fitting-ness approach: intuition alone has no epistemic status. Rather, intuition has evidentiary value as long as it fits well with other pieces into a whole, namely, the pertinent thought experiment. Finally, the book addresses the key challenges raised by supporters of anti-centrality, according to which philosophers do not regard intuition as central evidence in philosophy. To that end, the author responds to them, showing that they fail to affect the account of intuition developed in this book. This text appeals to students and researchers working in epistemology. (shrink)
This article presents a theory of intuitive skill in terms of three constitutive elements: getting things right intuitively, not getting things wrong intuitively, and sceptical ability. The theory draws on work from a range of psychological approaches to intuition and expertise in various domains, including arts, business, science, and sport. It provides a general framework that will help to further integrate research on these topics, for example building bridges between practical and theoretical domains or between such apparently conflicting methodologies as (...) a heuristics and biases approach on the one hand and one based on naturalistic decision-making on the other. In addition, the theory provides a clearer and more precise account of relevant concepts, which will help to inspire new directions for future research. Intuitive skill is defined as a high level of intuitive ability, that is, the ability to make good use of intuition; specifically, a high level of ability at either getting things right intuitively, not getting things wrong intuitively, or sceptical ability, where the latter is the ability to detect instances of getting things wrong intuitively so as to avoid forming incorrect intuitive judgements, which may itself be partly intuitive. (shrink)
The historically-influential perceptual analogy states that intuitions and perceptual experiences are alike in many important respects. Phenomenalists defend a particular reading of this analogy according to which intuitions and perceptual experiences share a common phenomenal character. The phenomenalist thesis has proven highly influential in recent years. However, insufficient attention has been given to the challenges that the phenomenalist thesis raises for theories of intuitions. In this paper, I first develop one such challenge. I argue that if we take seriously the (...) idea that intuitions and perceptual experiences have a common phenomenal character, then an analogous version of the familiar problem of perceptual presence arises for intuitions. I call this the 'problem of intuitive presence'. In the second part of the paper I sketch a novel enactivist solution to this problem. (shrink)
George Bealer provides an account of intuitions as “intellectual seemings.” My purpose in this paper is to criticize the phenomenological considerations that Bealer offers in favor of his account. In the first part I review Bealer’s attempt to distinguish intuitions from beliefs, judgments, guesses, and hunches. I examine each of the three phenomenological differences – incorrigibility, implasticity, and scope – that Bealer adduces between intuitions and these other types of mental contents. I argue that any difference between intuitions and these (...) other types of mental contents with regards to their incorrigibility, implasticity, and scope is unproven and likely to remain unproven. In the second part I criticize Bealer’s analogy between intuitions and sensory seemings by suggesting that intuitions do not display the theoretical virtues—consistency, corroboration, and confirmation—that Bealer claims for them. Moreover, I suggest that intuitions do not display the theoretical virtue that would indicate a similarity to sensory seemings, consilience. (shrink)
Was ist Intuition? Gibt es intuitive Erkenntnis? Intuition beschäftigt Philosophie, Psychologie und Alltagsdenken. Einschätzungen reichen dabei von "höchste Erkenntnisart" bis "höchst unzuverlässig." Cyrill Mamin zeichnet zentrale Bestimmungen der Intuition in Philosophie und Psychologie nach. Wesentliche Fragen sind dabei: Wie ist es, eine Intuition zu haben? Wie kommt eine Intuition zustande? Auf dieser Grundlage bestimmt Mamin Intuition als massgeblich nicht-propositionale Erkenntnisart, welche unsere intuitiven Überzeugungen rechtfertigen kann. Im Zentrum steht ein neuartiges Modell der intuitiven Rechtfertigung, das psychologische mit erkenntnistheoretischen Elementen verbindet. (...) Dadurch lässt sich Intuition im Verhältnis zu anderen mentalen Akten (u.a. Wahrnehmung, Imagination, Delusion) näher bestimmen sowie ein kritischer Blick auf die philosophische Intuitionsdebatte werfen. (shrink)
In recent years a growing number of philosophers writing about the methodology of philosophy have defended the surprising claim that philosophers do not use intuitions as evidence. In this paper I defend the contrary view that philosophers do use intuitions as evidence. I argue that this thesis is the best explanation of several salient facts about philosophical practice. First, philosophers tend to believe propositions which they find intuitive. Second, philosophers offer error theories for intuitions that conflict with their theories. Finally, (...) philosophers are more confident in rejecting theories to the extent that they have several counter examples involving diverse cases. I argue that these facts are better explained by philosophers' using intuitions as evidence than by any plausible contrary explanations. I further argue that aspects of philosophical practice that my thesis may initially seem ill-suited to explain are in fact unsurprising whether or not my thesis is true. (shrink)
Thought experiments invite us to evaluate philosophical theses by making judgements about hypothetical cases. When the judgements and the theses conflict, it is often the latter that are rejected. But what is the nature of the judgements such that they are able to play this role? I answer this question by arguing that typical judgements about thought experiments are in fact judgements of normal counterfactual sufficiency. I begin by focusing on Anna-Sara Malmgren’s defence of the claim that typical judgements about (...) thought experiments are mere possibility judgements. This view is shown to fail for two closely related reasons: it cannot account for the incorrectness of certain misjudgements, and it cannot account for the inconsistency of certain pairs of conflicting judgements. This prompts a reconsideration of Timothy Williamson’s alternative proposal, according to which typical judgements about thought experiments are counterfactual in nature. I show that taking such judgements to concern what would normally hold in instances of the relevant hypothetical scenarios avoids the objections that have been pressed against this kind of view. I then consider some other potential objections, but argue that they provide no grounds for doubt. (shrink)
This paper is a defense of the evidentiality of epistemic intuitions. To that end, I will first briefly discuss both experimentalists’ and some salient forms of reliabilists’ accounts of intuition, showing that they bring us up to a stalemate. To find a way out of this standoff, I will argue that reliabilists’ accounts pave the way for experimentalists’ challenge to the epistemic value of intuitions in two ways. First, each of reliabilists’ accounts leaves enough space to be occupied by normativity. (...) Second, their foundationalism being established on an intuition-perception analogy also does so. Subsequently, I will argue that reliabilists’ line of argument overlooked what I call as the metaphysical necessity of epistemic intuitions. Keeping in mind this necessity, I say, allows us to eliminate the standoff and to draw the boundaries between two distinct kinds of intuition which, I will conclude, should be isolated but also fit together in a unified and inclusive model. -/- . (shrink)
The deep source of interest in this paper lies in the paramount argument it provides for philosophy namely, articulating an individualistic view of the nature of intuition. This is fundamental to saying what is significant and distinctive about one being intuiting. On this view, intuitions are individualistically individuated. Contrary to common opinion, the proposed account suggests that an intuition is built out of facts about the individual intuiter. It is something this intuiter has personally experienced. Hence, it is better to (...) be understood from the first person point of view. Revising what is intuition in contemporary philosophy, I shall support my argument first through using some empirical findings of some studies from neuroscience and psychology as well as theoretical analysis of some texts that were often thought to be among the main works that contain thought experiments in which the authors rely on intuitions. I will also try to consider some probable objections to my argument showing their failure. -/- . (shrink)
According to philosophical orthodoxy, intuitions are perception‐like in that they provide us with non‐inferential justification. In this paper, I present four arguments to show that orthodoxy is mistaken: Intuitions, as used in thought experiments, are inferential judgments, that is the results of inferential transitions that are inferentially justified (if justified at all). The discussion will shed light on the nature of intuition but also on the nature of inference.
We argue that many intuitions do not have conscious propositional contents. In particular, many of the intuitions had in response to philosophical thought experiments, like Gettier cases, do not have such contents. They are more like hunches, urgings, murky feelings, and twinges. Our view thus goes against the received view of intuitions in philosophy, which we call Mainstream Propositionalism. Our positive view is that many thought-experimental intuitions are conscious, spontaneous, non-theoretical, non-propositional psychological states that often motivate belief revision, but they (...) require interpretation, in light of background beliefs, before a subject can form a propositional judgment as a consequence of them. We call our view Interpretationalism. We argue (i) that Interpretationalism avoids the problems that beset Mainstream Propositionalism and (ii) that our view meshes well with empirical results in contemporary cognitive science. (shrink)
This anthology consists of 20 chapters, many of which feature engagements between Kant and various Asian philosophers. Key themes include the nature of human intuition (not only as theoretical—pure, sensible, and possibly intellectual—but also as relevant to Kant’s practical philosophy, aesthetics, the sublime, and even mysticism), the status of Kant’s idealism/realism, and Kant’s notion of an object. Roughly half of the chapters take a stance on the recent conceptualism/non-conceptualism debate. The chapters are organized into four parts, each with five chapters. (...) Part I explores themes relating primarily to the early sections of Kant’s first Critique: three chapters focus mainly on Kant’s theory of the "forms of intuition" and/or "formal intuition", especially as illustrated by geometry, while two examine the broader role of intuition in transcendental idealism. Part II continues to examine themes from the Aesthetic but shifts the main focus to the Transcendental Analytic, where the key question challenging interpreters is to determine whether intuition (via sensibility) is ever capable of operating independently from conception (via understanding); each contributor offers a defense of either the conceptualist or the non-conceptualist readings of Kant’s text. Part III includes three chapters that explore the relevance of intuition to Kant’s theory of the sublime, followed by two that examine challenges that Asian philosophers have raised against Kant’s theory of intuition, particularly as it relates to our experience of the supersensible. Finally, Part IV concludes the book with five chapters that explore a range of resonances between Kant and various Asian philosophers and philosophical ideas. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe proper role of intuitions in philosophy has been debated throughout its history, and especially since the turn of the twenty-first century. The context of this recent debate within analytic philosophy has been the heightened interest in intuitions as data points that need to be accommodated or explained away by philosophical theories. This, in turn, has given rise to a sceptical movement called experimental philosophy, whose advocates seek to understand the nature and reliability of such intuitions. Yet such scepticism of (...) intuition or introspective methods can be found in earlier periods and across philosophical traditions. Indeed, the Neo-Confucian philosophers of the Song and Ming dynasties seem to exemplify this very tension, as they can be divided into an intuitionistic school on the one hand and an investigative school on the other. In this paper, I argue that, notwithstanding some obvious d... (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to analyze methodological problems of cross-cultural research in experimental philosophy. By studying five research projects, representing two distinct approaches to the examination of cross-cultural differences in philosophical intuitions, I point out the difficulties related to the content validity that appear in the choice of some cultural affiliation indicators. I criticize various indicators of cultural affiliation that are used in experimental philosophy (selfidentification, language) and suggest which indicators, and how, should be chosen in that kind (...) of research. I also argue that some problems related to bilingualism, translation, and the possible influence of language on the owned or reported philosophical intuitions may be impossible to transcend in cross-cultural research in experimental philosophy. It may be impossible to assess the differences between cultural philosophical intuitions. (shrink)
On Folk Epistemology explores how we ascribe knowledge to ourselves and others. Empirical evidence suggests that we do so early and often in thought as well as in talk. Since knowledge ascriptions are central to how we navigate social life, it is important to understand our basis for making them. -/- A central claim of the book is that factors that have nothing to do with knowledge may lead to systematic mistakes in everyday ascriptions of knowledge. These mistakes are explained (...) by an empirically informed account of how ordinary knowledge ascriptions are the product of cognitive heuristics that are associated with biases. In developing this account, Mikkel Gerken presents work in cognitive psychology and pragmatics, while also contributing to epistemology. For example, Gerken develops positive epistemic norms of action and assertion and moreover, critically assesses contextualism, knowledge-first methodology, pragmatic encroachment theories and more. Many of these approaches are argued to overestimate the epistemological significance of folk epistemology. In contrast, this volume develops an equilibristic methodology according to which intuitive judgments about knowledge cannot straightforwardly play a role as data for epistemological theorizing. Rather, critical epistemological theorizing is required to interpret empirical findings. Consequently, On Folk Epistemology helps to lay the foundation for an emerging sub-field that intersects philosophy and the cognitive sciences: The empirical study of folk epistemology. (shrink)
Cette contribution a deux objectifs principaux. Le premier est de montrer que les intuitions sont caractérisées par ce que j’appellerai « une capacité rationnelle », c’est-à-dire, qu’elles sont susceptibles d’être évaluées quant à leur rationalité ou leur irrationalité. Le second objectif de cet article est d’étayer l’hypothèse selon laquelle les intuitions seraient des états affectifs proches des émotions — et non pas des états doxastiques ou des expériences perceptuelles —, en montrant qu’une telle conception affective des intuitions est seule capable (...) de rendre compte de la spécificité phénoménologique, la modularité, et la capacité rationnelle des intuitions. This article has two purposes. First, it wants to show that intuitions possess, what I shall call, “a rational capacity” : they are mental states susceptible to be assessed as rational or irrational. Second, this contribution aims at providing some evidence supporting the view that intuitions are affective states similar to emotions rather than doxastic or perceptual states. Such an affective account of the intuitions is the only one able to capture the specific phenomenology, the modularity and the rational capacity of the intuitions. (shrink)
This thesis explores the role and nature of intuition in philosophical inquiry. Appeals to intuition have either been used as evidence for or against philosophical theories or as constitutive features of judgement. I attempt to understand our uses of intuition by appealing to tacit knowledge. The hope is to elicit a picture of intuition as being practical and explanatory. Our reliance on intuition is warranted if we understand it as an expression of tacit knowledge.
This entry addresses the nature and epistemological role of intuition by considering the following questions: (1) What are intuitions?, (2) What roles do they serve in philosophical (and other “armchair”) inquiry?, (3) Ought they serve such roles?, (4) What are the implications of the empirical investigation of intuitions for their proper roles?, and (5) What is the content of intuitions prompted by the consideration of hypothetical cases?
Internalists have criticised reliabilism for overlooking the importance of the subject's point of view in the generation of knowledge. This paper argues that there is a troubling ambiguity in the intuitive examples that internalists have used to make their case, and on either way of resolving this ambiguity, reliabilism is untouched. However, the argument used to defend reliabilism against the internalist cases could also be used to defend a more radical form of externalism in epistemology.
Once symbolized by a burning armchair, experimental philosophy has in recent years shifted away from its original hostility to traditional methods. Starting with a brief historical review of the experimentalist challenge to traditional philosophical practice, this chapter looks at research undercutting that challenge, and at ways in which experimental work has evolved to complement and strengthen traditional approaches to philosophical questions.
Here I criticise Audi's account of self-evidece. I deny that understanding of a proposition can justify belief in it and offfer an account of intuition that can take the place of understanding in an account of self-evidence.
A central metaphilosophical project seeks to evaluate the reliability of the types of evidence that figure in philosophical arguments and, relatedly, the justificatory status of relying on those types of evidence. Traditionally, metaphilosophers have approached this project via an analysis of intuition. This article argues that the category picked out by “intuition” is both too broad and too heterogeneous to serve as the appropriate target for metaphilosophical inquiry. Intuition is a gerrymandered and disjunctive kind, undeserving of the widespread attention it (...) receives in the literature. Instead, metaphilosophers should examine more finely grained mental states. Three promising strategies for parsing intuitions more finely are proposed: by their causal origins, by their context of employment, and by the exoticism of their content. This more narrow focus may significantly alter the dialectic in three prominent metaphilosophical arguments: the argument from calibration, the argument from self-defeat, and the argument from intuitional sensitivity. (shrink)
ABSTRACT ABSTRACT: This paper provides a multifaceted account of intuition. The paper integrates apparently disparate conceptions of intuition, shows how the notion has figured in epistemology as well as in intuitionistic ethics, and clarifies the relation between the intuitive and the self-evident. Ethical intuitionism is characterized in ways that, in phenomenology, epistemology, and ontology, represent an advance over the position of W. D. Ross while preserving its commonsense normative core and intuitionist character. This requires clarifying the sense in which intuitions (...) are non-inferential and explaining how self-evident principles may be maintained without dogmatism, how intuition is significantly analogous to perception, and how rational disagreements can extend even to the self-evident. The paper distinguishes between two orders of normative disagreement, shows how intuition can contribute to resolving normative disagreements, and represents ethical intuitionism as capable of modified forms that depart from its traditional claims in being neutral with respect to both ethical naturalism and metaphysical realism. (shrink)
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)
Metaphysical theories are often counter-intuitive. But they also often are strongly supported and motivated by intuitions. One way or another, the link between intuitions and metaphysics is a strong and important one, and there is hardly any metaphysical discussion where intuitions do not play a crucial role. In this article, I will be interested in a particular kind of such intuitions, namely those that come, at least partly, from experience. There seems to be a route from experience to metaphysics, and (...) this is the core of my interest here. In order to better understand such ‘arguments from experience’ and the kind of relationship there is between this type of intuitions and metaphysical theories, I shall examine four particular cases where a kind of experience-based intuition seems to motivate or support a metaphysical theory. At the end of the day, I shall argue that this route is a treacherous one, and that in all of the four cases I shall concentrate on, phenomenological considerations are in fact orthogonal to the allegedly ‘corresponding’ metaphysical claims. An anti-realist view of metaphysics will emerge. (shrink)
Intuitions play a central role in analytic philosophy, but their psychological basis is little understood. This paper provides an empirically-informed, psychological char- acterization of philosophical intuitions. Drawing on McCauley’s distinction between maturational and practiced naturalness, I argue that philosophical intuitions originate from several early-developed, specialized domains of core knowledge (maturational naturalness). Eliciting and deploying such intuitions in argumentative contexts is the domain of philosophical expertise, thus philosophical intuitions are also practiced nat- ural. This characterization has implications for the evidential value (...) of philosophical intuitions, as well as for the interpretation of studies in experimental philosophy. (shrink)
The paper outlines the evolution of on-going meta-philosophical debates about intuitions, explains different notions of 'intuition' employed in these debates, and argues for the philosophical relevance of intuitions in an aetiological sense taken from cognitive psychology. On this basis, it advocates a new kind of methodological naturalism which it finds implicit, for instance, in the warrant project in experimental philosophy: a meta-philosophical naturalism that promotes the use of scientific methods in meta-philosophical investigations. This 'higher-order' naturalism is consistent with both methodological (...) naturalism and methodological rationalism about first-order philosophy, and can help us adjudicate between the two, in a piecemeal manner. (shrink)
Thought experiments as counterexamples are a familiar tool in philosophy. Frequently understanding a vignette seems to generate a challenge to a target theory. In this paper I explore the content of the judgement that we have in response to these vignettes. I first introduce several competing proposals for the content of our judgement, and explain why they are inadequate. I then advance an alternative view. I argue that when we hear vignettes we consider the normal instances of the vignette. If (...) the normal instance of the vignette exhibits a counter-instance, the vignette constitutes a challenge to the target theory. I argue that this proposal shows how responses to vignettes are an ordinary, everyday judgement, and I explain how the proposal avoids the problems generated by competing theories. Finally, I argue this ‘normalcy proposal’ most naturally accords with our understanding of the method. (shrink)
Among the phenomena that make up the mind, cognitive psychologists and philosophers have postulated a puzzling one that they have called ?epistemic feelings.? This paper aims to (1) characterize these experiences according to their intentional content and phenomenal character, and (2) describe the nature of these mental states as nonconceptual in the cases of animals and infants, and as conceptual mental states in the case of adult human beings. Finally, (3) the paper will contrast three accounts of the causes and (...) mechanisms of epistemic feelings: the doxastic account; the mental scanner account; and the heuristic mechanism account. The paper will argue in favor of the heuristic mechanism account. (shrink)
Herman Cappelen (2012) has written a book that's devoted to arguing against the following claim: Centrality (of Intuitions in Contemporary Philosophy): Contemporary analytic philosophers rely on intuitions as evidence (or as a source of evidence) for philosophical theories. In arguing against Centrality, Cappelen is not making a normative claim: that although philosophers rely on intuitions, they ought not to. He's not making a metaphysical claim to the effect that there are no intuitions, hence none that philosophers can rely on to (...) justify their claims.... (shrink)
In Philosophy Without Intuitions Herman Cappelen argues that unlike what is commonly thought, contemporary analytic philosophers do not typically rely on intuitions as evidence. If they do indeed rely on intuitions, that should be evident from their written works, either explicitly in the form of ‘intuition’ talk or by means of other indicators. However, Cappelen argues, while philosophers do engage in ‘intuition’ talk, that is not a good indicator that they rely on intuitions, as ‘intuition’ and its cognates have many (...) meanings that are irrelevant to this particular question. He identifies three other indicators and argues by appeal to case studies that these indicators are not present. I argue here that an account of intuitions as intellectual seemings draws attention to intuition features that Cappelen does not consider. These intuition features appear to be regularly present in the works of contemporary analytic philosophers. (shrink)
I argue for three central theses: ‘intuition’ is ambiguous, in material object metaphysics ‘intuition’ refers to pre-theoretical beliefs, and these pre-theoretical beliefs are generated by an innate physical reasoning system. I begin by outlining the relevant background discussions on the nature of intuitions and their role in philosophy to motivate the need for a more careful investigation of the meaning of ‘intuition’ and the role of intuitions in specific sub-disciplines of philosophy. In chapters one and two I argue that ‘intuition’ (...) is ambiguous between an inflationary and deflationary sense. In the inflationary sense, ‘intuition’ refers to a priori intellectual seemings with a special phenomenology, conceptual etiology, and modal content. In the deflationary sense, ‘intuition’ refers to beliefs or inclinations to believe. In chapter three I specifically examine the use of intuitions in material object metaphysics and conclude that in this sub-community ‘intuition’ is used in the deflationary sense to refer to pre-theoretical beliefs. Drawing from research on infant cognition, in the final chapter I argue that intuitions regarding material object metaphysics are those judgments that arise from an innate physical reasoning system. Based on this empirical observation, I argue that metaphysicians ought to give preference to abstract intuitions over intuitions regarding concrete cases because these abstract intuitions reflect the innate structure of our physical reasoning mechanisms. (shrink)
For Bhartrhari, a fifth-century Indian grammarian-philosopher, all conscious beings—beasts, birds and humans—are capable of what he called pratibha, a flash of indescribable intuitive understanding such that one knows what the present object “means” and what to do with it. Such an understanding, if correct, amounts to a mode of knowing that may best be termed knowing-what, to distinguish it from both knowing-that and knowing-how. This paper attempts to expound Bhartrhari’s conception of pratibha in relation to the notions of meaning, understanding, (...) and knowing. First, I touch briefly on Bhartrhari’s views of consciousness and language, and examine at some length his indescribability thesis concerning the intuitive meaning of a sentence. Then, I delineate the general features of pratibha as intuitive understanding and discuss its probable range in relation to expert intuition and sense perception. Thereafter, I relate pratibha to the notion of knowing-what and show why these two notions are to be differentiated from knowing-that and knowing-how. The paper concludes with some remarks on the contemporary relevance of Bhartrhari’s conception of pratibha. (shrink)
In this paper I will argue that this entire dialectic is somewhat misguided. The mental states which are generally assumed to fall under the category of ‘intuition’ likely comprise a highly heterogeneous group; from the point of view of psychology or of neuroscience, in fact, ‘intuitions’ appear to be generated by several fundamentally different sorts of mental processes. If this is correct, then the term ‘intuition’ may simply carve things too broadly. I will argue that it is a mistake to (...) focus on the ‘reliability of intuition’; empirical evidence suggests that the reliability of one type of intuition may tell us next to nothing about the reliability of other types. Rather than debating the evidential status of intuition as a whole, philosophers interested in methodology would do well to focus their investigations much more narrowly. (shrink)
Action is not always guided by conscious deliberation; in many circumstances, we act intuitively rather than reflectively. Tamar Gendler (2014) contends that because intuitively guided action can lead us away from our reflective commitments, it limits the power of knowledge to guide action. While I agree that intuition can diverge from reflection, I argue that this divergence does not constitute a restriction on the power of knowledge. After explaining my view of the contrast between intuitive and reflective thinking, this paper (...) argues against the conclusions Gendler draws from empirical work on implicit bias. (shrink)
Intuitions may seem to play a fundamental role in philosophy: but their role and their value have been challenged recently. What are intuitions? Should we ever trust them? And if so, when? Do they have an indispensable role in science—in thought experiments, for instance—as well as in philosophy? Or should appeal to intuitions be abandoned altogether? This collection brings together leading philosophers, from early to late career, to tackle such questions. It presents the state of the art thinking on the (...) topic.Readership: Scholars and advanced students of philosophy. (shrink)
According to phenomenal conservatism, seemings can provide prima facie justification for beliefs. In order to fully assess phenomenal conservatism, it is important to understand the nature of seemings. Two views are that (SG) seemings are a sui generis propositional attitude, and that (D2B) seemings are nothing over and above dispositions to believe. Proponents of (SG) reject (D2B) in large part by providing four distinct objections against (D2B). First, seemings have a distinctive phenomenology, but dispositions to believe do not. Second, seemings (...) can provide a non-trivial explanation for dispositions to believe, which wouldn’t be possible if seemings were dispositions to believe. Third, there are some dispositions to believe that are not seemings. Fourth, there are instances of seemings which are not dispositions to believe. I consider and reject each of these objections. The first and third objections rely on a misunderstanding of (D2B). The second objection fails because there are contexts in which an appeal to a previously unknown identity can provide an interesting explanation. The fourth objection overlooks the possibility of finkish and masked dispositions, phenomena which are widely accepted in the dispositions literature. I conclude that (D2B) escapes these common objections unscathed. (shrink)