Synthese 190 (12):2021-2046 (2013)

Jessica Brown
University of St. Andrews
Experimental philosophers have recently conducted surveys of folk judgements about a range of phenomena of interest to philosophy including knowledge, reference, and free will. Some experimental philosophers take these results to undermine the philosophical practice of appealing to intuitions as evidence. I consider several different replies to the suggestion that these results undermine philosophical appeal to intuition, both piecemeal replies which raise concerns about particular surveys, and more general replies. The general replies include the suggestions that the surveys consider the wrong sort of judgement, or the wrong kind of judge, or that the results of the surveys do not generate scepticism about philosophical appeal to intuition in particular, but rather a more problematic and general scepticism. I argue that the last of these general replies is the most promising. To assess its merits, I consider the most developed account of how the survey results are supposed to raise sceptical problems specifically for philosophical appeal to intuition, that presented in Weinberg (Midwest Stud Philos XXXI:318–343, 2007). I argue that there are significant objections to Weinberg’s account. I conclude that, so far, experimental philosophers have failed to show how their survey results raise a sceptical challenge that applies to philosophical appeal to intuition in particular, rather than having a problematic, more general scope.
Keywords Experimental philosophy  Methodology  Intuition  Scepticism
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Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-9952-2
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John P. Hawthorn - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Thin, Fine and with Sensitivity: A Metamethodology of Intuitions.James Andow - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology (1):1-21.
Who's Afraid of Cognitive Diversity?Miguel Egler - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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