Intuitions as Evidence, Philosophical Expertise and the Developmental Challenge

Philosophical Papers 42 (2):175-207 (2013)
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Abstract

Appeals to intuitions as evidence in philosophy are challenged by experimental philosophers and other critics. A common response to experimental philosophical criticisms is to hold that only professional philosophers? intuitions count as evidence in philosophy. This ?expert intuitions defence? is inadequate for two reasons. First, recent studies indicate significant variability in professional philosophers? intuitions. Second, the academic literature on professional intuitions gives us reasons to doubt that professional philosophers develop truth-apt intuitions. The onus falls on those who mount the expert intuitions defence to meet these objections because it is implicitly being claimed that training and practice caused professional philosophers to acquire reliably accurate intuitions and we are owed an account of how this transformation takes place. A possible response to this situation is to attempt to reform philosophical practice to improve the quality of intuitions. Another possible response, advocated here, is to avoid appeals to intuitions as evidence

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Steve Clarke
Charles Sturt University

References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
Ethical Intuitionism.Michael Huemer - 2005 - Palgrave Macmillan.

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