Intuitions and Experiments: A Defense of the Case Method in Epistemology

Abstract
Many epistemologists use intuitive responses to particular cases as evidence for their theories. Recently, experimental philosophers have challenged the evidential value of intuitions, suggesting that our responses to particular cases are unstable, inconsistent with the responses of the untrained, and swayed by factors such as ethnicity and gender. This paper presents evidence that neither gender nor ethnicity influence epistemic intuitions, and that the standard responses to Gettier cases and the like are widely shared. It argues that epistemic intuitions are produced by the natural ‘mindreading’ capacity that underpins ordinary attributions of belief and knowledge in everyday social interaction. Although this capacity is fallible, its weaknesses are similar to the weaknesses of natural capacities such as sensory perception. Experimentalists who do not wish to be skeptical about ordinary empirical methods have no good reason to be skeptical about epistemic intuitions.
Keywords epistemology  intuitions  Gettier cases  experimental philosophy  methodology
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2012.00634.x
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References found in this work BETA
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Theory of Knowledge.Keith Lehrer - 2000 - Westview Press.
Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?Edmund Gettier - 1963 - Analysis 23 (6):121-123.

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Citations of this work BETA
Recent Attempts to Defend the Philosophical Method of Cases and the Linguistic Turn.Avner Baz - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):105-130.
Where Philosophical Intuitions Come From.Helen De Cruz - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):233-249.
Defending the Evidential Value of Epistemic Intuitions: A Reply to Stich.Jennifer Nagel - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):179-199.

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