Synthese 191 (16):3865-3896 (2014)

Authors
Brian Talbot
University of Colorado, Boulder
Abstract
This paper aims to clarify a debate on philosophical method, and to give a probabilistic argument vindicating armchair philosophy under a wide range of plausible assumptions. The use of intuitions by so-called armchair philosophers has been criticized on empirical grounds. The debate between armchair philosophers and their empirical critics would benefit from greater clarity and precision in our understanding of what it takes for intuition-based approaches to philosophy to make sense. This paper discusses a set of rigorous, probability-based tools for determining what we can and cannot learn from intuitions in various conditions. These tools can tell us whether beliefs can be justified by armchair practices, and what empirical findings would have to show to undermine the use of intuitions in philosophy. Using these tools, the paper shows that armchair philosophy makes sense in a broad range of situations, and that it is quite plausible that we are in those situations at the moment
Keywords Intuitions  Methodology  Experimental philosophy   Evidence aggregation  Bayes’ theorem  Eyewitness
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0509-z
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References found in this work BETA

Skepticism and the Veil of Perception.Michael Huemer - 2001 - Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
In Defense of Pure Reason.Laurence BonJour - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
Revisionary Intuitionism.Michael Huemer - 2008 - Social Philosophy and Policy 25 (1):368-392.

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Citations of this work BETA

Thought Experiments in Experimental Philosophy.Kirk Ludwig - 2016 - In Mike Stuart, James Robert Brown & Yiftach J. H. Fehige (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. New York: Routledge. pp. 385-405.
Experimental Philosophy and Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Responsibility. Oxford University Press.

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