This book is concerned with the role of intuitions in the justification of philosophical theory. The author begins by demonstrating how contemporary philosophers, whether engaged in case-driven analysis or seeking reflective equilibrium, rely on intuitions as evidence for their theories. The author then provides an account of the nature of philosophical intuitions and distinguishes them from other psychological states. Finally, the author defends the use of intuitions as evidence by demonstrating that arguments for skepticism about their (...) evidential value are either self-defeating or guilty of arbitrary and unjustified partiality towards non-intuitive modes of knowledge. (shrink)
Humans have a tendency to reason teleologically. This tendency is more pronounced under time pressure, in people with little formal schooling and in patients with Alzheimer’s. This has led some cognitive scientists of religion, notably Kelemen, to call intuitive teleological reasoning promiscuous, by which they mean teleology is applied to domains where it is unwarranted. We examine these claims using Kant’s idea of the transcendental illusion in the first Critique and his views on the regulative function of teleological reasoning in (...) the third Critique. We examine whether a Kantian framework can help resolve the tension between the apparent promiscuity of intuitive teleology and its role in human reasoning about biological organisms and natural kinds. (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)
Some approaches to the assessment of moral intuitions are discussed. The controlled ethical trial isolates a moral issue from confounding factors and thereby clarifies what a person's intuition actually is. Casuistic reasoning from situations, where intuitions are clear, suggests or modifies principles, which can then help to make decisions in situations where intuitions are unclear. When intuitions are defended by a supporting principle, that principle can be tested by finding extreme cases, in which it is counterintuitive (...) to follow the principle. An approach to the resolution of conflict between valid moral principles, specifically the utilitarian and justice principles, is considered. It is argued that even those who justify intuitions by a priori principles are often obliged to modify or support their principles by resort to the consideration of consequences. (shrink)
This book examines the evidential status and use of linguistic intuitions, a topic that has seen increased interest in recent years. Linguists use native speakers' intuitions - such as whether or not an utterance sounds acceptable - as evidence for theories about language, but this approach is not uncontroversial. The two parts of this volume draw on the most recent work in both philosophy and linguistics to explore the two major issues at the heart of the debate. Chapters (...) in the first part address the 'justification question', critically analysing and evaluating the theoretical rationale for the evidential use of linguistic intuitions. The second part discusses recent developments in the domain of experimental syntax, focusing on the question of whether formal and systematic models of gathering intuitions are epistemically and methodologically superior to the informal methods that have traditionally been used. -/- The volume provides valuable insights into whether and how linguistic intuitions can be used in theorizing about language, and will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science. (shrink)
Modal intuitions are not only the primary source of modal knowledge but also the primary source of modal error. An explanation of how modal error arises — and, in particular, how erroneous modal intuitions arise — is an essential part of a comprehensive theory of knowledge and evidence. This chapter begins with a summary of certain preliminaries: the phenomenology of intuitions, their fallibility, the nature of concept-understanding and its relationship to the reliability of intuitions, and so (...) forth. It then identifies two sources of modal error: the first has to do with the failure to distinguish between metaphysical possibility and various kinds of epistemic possibility; the second, with the local misunderstanding of one's concepts. The first source of error is widely misunderstood; the second source has not been discussed in philosophical literature. This source of modal error, and the potential to overcome it, has wide-ranging implications for philosophical method. The failure to understand these sources of modal error has recently led to sceptical accounts of intuition and modal error, which are, ultimately self-defeating. (shrink)
Much recent work on philosophical methodology has focused on whether we should accept evidence: the claim that philosophers use intuitive judgments about cases as evidence for/against philosophical theories. This paper outlines a new way of thinking about the philosophical method of appealing to cases such that evidence is true but not as it is typically understood. The idea proposed is that, when philosophers appeal to cases, they are engaged in a project of conceptual engineering and that, within that project, (...) class='Hi'>intuitions about cases provide evidence as to the normative constraints which are relevant within that project. The paper demonstrates that this is a feasible interpretation of the way that cases are appealed to in recent journal issues, and makes the case that this would be a better way to think of what philosophers are doing when they appeal to cases. (shrink)
Intuition (hads) as a function of 'aql, fitrah and khirad, according to Ibn Sina, not only constitutes the basis of all learning, and hence a way for arriving independently at new knowledge, but serves as means for verifying what has been studied and learned from others, representing direct insight into the true nature of reality as a coherent whole. Some questions remain, however, as to what distinguishes intuition from other kinds of cognition and what is so special about intuitive knowledge (...) and, furthermore, "How is intuitive knowledge possible or what are the conditions of intuitive cognition?" To provide an analytical account of Ibn Sina's thought and examine his statements on this matter is the aim of this article. (shrink)
Linguistic intuitions are a central source of evidence across a variety of linguistic domains. They have also long been a source of controversy. This chapter aims to illuminate the etiology and evidential status of at least some linguistic intuitions by relating them to error signals of the sort posited by accounts of on-line monitoring of speech production and comprehension. The suggestion is framed as a novel reply to Michael Devitt’s claim that linguistic intuitions are theory-laden “central systems” (...) responses, rather than endorsed outputs of a modularized language faculty (the “Voice of Competence”). Along the way, it is argued that linguistic intuitions may not constitute a natural kind with a common etiology; and that, for a range of cases, the process by which intuitions used in linguistics are generated amounts to little more than comprehension. (shrink)
Intuition in medical and moral reasoning -- Moral intuitionism -- The place of Aristotelian phronesis in clinical reasoning -- Aristotle's practical syllogism: accounting for the individual through a theory of action and cognition -- Individual and statistical physiognomy: the art and science of making the invisible visible -- Clinical intuition versus statistical reasoning -- Contingency and correlation: the significance of modeling clinical reasoning on statistics -- Abduction: the intuitive support of clinical induction -- Conclusion: medical ethics beyond ontology.
This paper reexamines Ibn Sina’s theory of knowledge and discusses the key role he assigns to intuition in solving the epistemological problems of knowing the first principles, the middle terms, primary concepts, and existence of oneself. To reconstruct and give a coherent restatement of his epistemology by means of textual analysis and hermeneusis is certainly a worthwhile task since Ibn Sina’s own statement of his views about knowledge has come down to us in a very disjointed form, scattered throughout his (...) large philosophical corpus. (shrink)
The literature on mathematics suggests that intuition plays a role in it as a ground of belief. This article explores the nature of intuition as it occurs in mathematical thinking. Section 1 suggests that intuitions should be understood by analogy with perceptions. Section 2 explains what fleshing out such an analogy requires. Section 3 discusses Kantian ways of fleshing it out. Section 4 discusses Platonist ways of fleshing it out. Section 5 sketches a proposal for resolving the main problem (...) facing Platonists—the problem of explaining how our experiences make contact with mathematical reality. (shrink)
This paper considers one of the most controversial aspects of Friedrich Schelling’s philosophy, his notion of intellectual intuition and its place within his philosophy of nature. I argue that Schelling developed his account of intellectual intuition through an encounter with--and ultimate critique of--Spinoza’s third kind of knowledge. Thus, Schelling’s notion of intuition was not an appropriation of Fichte’s conception of intuition as an act of consciousness. Nonetheless, and in spite of his sympathy with Spinoza, Schelling contended that intellectual intuition must (...) be “productive” or “constructive.” I explicate how Schelling justified his use of intellectual intuition in his Naturphilosophie, and detail its relation to his notion of the philosophical “construction” of nature. (shrink)
Recently, there has been a great deal of skepticism about appeals to intuitions in philosophy. Appeals to intuition often get expressed in the form of what ‘we’ believe. Many people take the ‘we’ in this context to refer to what the folk believe. So the claim about what we believe is an empirical claim. And it looks like the support for this claim comes from a biased sample consisting solely of analytic philosophers. In this paper I want to explain (...) a different way appeals to intuition are used in the literature and why it survives such attacks. The basic idea, which comes from Bernard Williams, is that the 'we' used in many appeals to intuitions is not a referring expression at all. The appeal to intuition is not a claim about what any group of individuals believes. Rather it is an invitation to make a judgment. I argue that when you hear a philosopher say 'P is what we intuitively believe' the proper response is not 'who is this 'we'?’ The proper response is to wonder whether one ought to accept P. (shrink)
This paper pioneers the use of methods and findings from psycholinguistics in experimental philosophy’s ‘sources project’. On this basis, it clarifies the epistemological relevance of empirical findings about intuitions – a key methodological challenge to experimental philosophy. The sources project (aka ‘cognitive epistemology of intuitions’) seeks to develop psychological explanations of philosophically relevant intuitions, which help us assess their evidentiary value. One approach seeks explanations which trace relevant intuitions back to automatic cognitive processes that are generally (...) reliable but predictably generate cognitive illusions under specific vitiating circumstances. The paper develops and experimentally tests such an explanation for intuitions at the root of a historically influential paradox about perception (‘argument from illusion’). The explanation traces these intuitions to stereotype-driven amplification, an automatic process routinely involved in language comprehension (e.g., understanding philosophical case-descriptions). Distributional semantics analysis and a forced-choice plausibility ranking task are employed to establish the relevant verb-associated stereotypes. The paper argues that the inferences facilitated by these stereotypes are generally reliable, but shows that vitiating circumstances obtain in the formulation of the targeted paradox. On this basis, the paper explores two complementary strategies for assessing the evidentiary value of intuitive judgments. (shrink)
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 chapter considers Ernest Sosa’s contributions to philosophical methodology. In Section 1, Sosa’s approach to the role of intuitions in the epistemology of philosophy is considered and related to his broader virtue-theoretic epistemological framework. Of particular focus is the question whether false or unjustified intuitions may justify. Section 2 considers Sosa’s response to sceptical challenges about intuitions, especially those deriving from experimental philosophy. I argue that Sosa’s attempt to attribute apparent disagreement in survey data to difference in (...) meaning fails, but that some of his other, more general, responses to experimentalist sceptics succeed. (shrink)
In recent years, some defenders of traditional philosophical methodology have argued that certain critiques of armchair methods are mistaken in assuming that intuitions play central evidential roles in traditional philosophical methods. According to this kind of response, experimental philosophers attack a straw man; it doesn’t matter whether intuitions are reliable, because philosophers don’t use intuitions in the way assumed. Deutsch (2010), Williamson (2007), and Cappelen (2012) all defend traditional methods in something like this way. I also endorsed (...) something like this line in Ichikawa (2014a). -/- In this contribution, I will follow up on this sort of defence of traditional philosophical methods in three ways. In §1, I will rehearse and extend some of my reasons for challenging the idea that traditional methods depend on intuitions in an evidential role. (My reasons are very different from those discussed in (Cappelen, 2012).) I will also engage with some recent more sophisticated attempts to establish the idea that intuitions play evidential roles in philosophy, such as that of Chudnoff (2013). In §2, I will consider and argue against a dismissive response to such positions from experimental philosophers, who consider the question of philosophical reliance on intuitions to be irrelevant to the experimentalist critique. But in §3, I will argue that it would also be a mistake to conclude (as Herman Cappelen does) that the critique is rendered totally irrelevant by the denial of the evidential role of intuitions; I defend a more moderate view on which the bearing of experimental studies of philosophical intuitions is relevant for philosophical methodology, but only in a relatively limited way. (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)
Gettier’s paper, “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?,” is widely taken to be a paradigm example of the sort of philosophical methodology that has been so hotly debated in the recent literature. Reflection on it motivates the following four theses about that methodology: (A) Intuitive judgments form an epistemically distinctive kind. (B) Intuitive judgments play an epistemically privileged role in philosophical methodology. (C) If intuitive judgments play an epistemically privileged role in philosophical methodology, then their role is to be taken as (...) given inputs into generally accepted forms of reasoning. (D) Philosophical methodology is reasonable. Negative experimental philosophers have empirically challenged (D). Radical responses to their challenge include Williamson’s rejection of (A) and Cappelen and Deutsch’s rejection of (B). Here I follow traditionalists in maintaining (A), (B), and (D), but suggest questioning (C), which has largely been taken as a fixed point in the literature. (shrink)
We asked college students to make judgments about realistic moral situations presented as dilemmas (which asked for an either/or decision) vs. problems (which did not ask for such a decision) as well as when the situation explicitly included affectively salient language vs. non-affectively salient language. We report two main findings. The first is that there are four different types of cognitive strategy that subjects use in their responses: simple reasoning, intuitive judging, cautious reasoning, and empathic reasoning. We give operational definitions (...) of these types in terms of our observed data. In addition, the four types characterized strategies not only in the whole sample, but also in all of the subsamples in our study. The second finding is that the intuitive judging type comprised approximately 26% of our respondents, while about 74% of our respondents employed one of the three styles of reasoning named above. We think that these findings present an interesting challenge to models of moral cognition which predict that there is either a single, or a single most common, strategy – especially a strategy of relying upon one’s intuitions – that people use to think about moral situations. (shrink)
‘Seeing is believing’ perhaps means that some visual experience provides good evidence for some claims that go beyond the content of the experience. Intuition—intellectual ‘seeming’—does not provide similarly good evidence, at least not for metaphysical claims, or so I shall argue. In §2, I sketch the conception of ‘metaphysics’ that is in use here, a conception that leads naturally to a problem about what counts as evidence in metaphysics. Some have suggested that intuition counts. In §3 I raise some doubts (...) (but not radical skeptical doubts) about intuition. These doubts are directed specifically at Bealer’s (1998) account of philosophical intuition. In §4 I will consider an argument in favor of the appeal to rational intuition as evidence in philosophy, and suggest that the argument is circular. I conclude §4 with some additional doubts about intuition, focused on whether intuitions could ever be ‘calibrated’. (shrink)
The phenomenology of a priori intuition is explored at length (where a priori intuition is taken to be not a form of belief but rather a form of seeming, specifically intellectual as opposed to sensory seeming). Various reductive accounts of intuition are criticized, and Humean empiricism (which, unlike radical empiricism, does admit analyticity intuitions as evidence) is shown to be epistemically self-defeating. This paper also recapitulates the defense of the thesis of the Autonomy and Authority of Philosophy given in (...) the author’s “A Priori Knowledge and the Scope of Philosophy” (Philosophical Studies, 1996). (shrink)
This paper covers some large subjects: as well as intuition and Wittgenstein, it also discusses modern computing. However it only traces one thread through these topics. Basically it proposes that a computational analysis of Wittgenstein's Tractatus can shed light upon processes of discovery in mathematics.
In this paper, we present and discuss the findings of two experiments about reference change. Cases of reference change have sometimes been invoked to challenge traditional versions of semantic externalism, but the relevant cases have never been tested empirically. The experiments we have conducted use variants of the famous Twin Earth scenario to test folk intuitions about whether natural kind terms such as ‘water’ or ‘salt’ switch reference after being constantly (mis)applied to different kinds. Our results indicate that this (...) is indeed so. We argue that this finding is evidence against Saul Kripke’s causal-historical view of reference, and at least provisional evidence in favor of the causal source view of reference as suggested by Gareth Evans and Michael Devitt. (shrink)
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)
In this thesis I seek to advance our understanding of what intuitions are. I argue that intuitions are experiences of a certain kind. In particular, they are experiences with representational content, and with a certain phenomenal character. -/- In Chapter 1 I identify our target and provide some important reliminaries. Intuitions are mental states, but which ones? Giving examples helps: a person has an intuition when it seems to her that torturing the innocent is wrong, or that (...) if something is red it is coloured. We can also provide an initial characterisation of the state by saying that it has representational content, often causes belief, and appears to justify belief. In addition, there is something it is like to have an intuition: intuition has a certain phenomenal character. -/- Some argue that intuition does not explain anything which cannot be explained by other mental states. One version of this view takes intuition to reduce to belief. In Chapter 2 I argue that this entails that agents are rationally criticisable in situations where we know they are not, and that such views are therefore untenable. A parallel argument shows that the corresponding approach to perception fails. This suggests a similarity in nature: both intuition and perception are experiences. -/- Others take intuition to reduce to a disposition to have a belief. In Chapter 3 I consider a line of argument against such views, find it unsuccessful, and present two new arguments. One is likely to be dialectically ineffective. The other suffers no such weakness: it shows that the proposed reduction fails. As before, the argument also applies to perception, and suggests that intuition and perception are both experiences. -/- In the remainder of the thesis I develop an account of intuition as an experience. I distinguish between content-specific and attitude-specific phenomenology, and argue that intuition lacks the former (Chapter 4), but has the latter (Chapter 5). This allows us to say what intuition is: it is is an experience with representational content and with attitude-specific phenomenology of a certain kind. -/- In Chapter 6 I put this account of intuition to use. When a person has a perceptual or intuitional experience, I argue that simply having the experience is what makes the subject justified in believing what the experience represents. Moreover, what explains that intuition and perception can justify belief in this way is precisely their phenomenal character. (shrink)
Concerns about philosophical methodology have emerged as a central issue in contemporary philosophical discussions. In this volume, Tamar Gendler draws together fourteen essays that together illuminate this topic. Three intertwined themes connect the essays. First, each of the chapters focuses, in one way or another, on how we engage with subject matter that we take to be imaginary. This theme is explored in a wide range of cases, including scientific thought experiments, early childhood pretense, thought experiments concerning personal identity, fictional (...) emotions, self-deception, Gettier and fake barn cases, the relation of belief to other attitudes, and the connection between conceivability and possibility. Second, each of the chapters explores, in one way or another, the implications of this for how thought experiments and appeals to intuition can serve as mechanisms for supporting or refuting scientific or philosophical claims. Third, each of the chapters self-consciously exhibits a particular philosophical methodology: that of drawing both on empirical findings from contemporary psychology, and on classic texts in the philosophical tradition By exploring and exhibiting the fruitfulness of these interactions, Gendler promotes the value of engaging in such cross-disciplinary conversations to illuminate philosophical questions. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that intuitive methods of moral decision making are objective tools on the grounds that they are reasons based. First, I will conduct a preliminary analysis in which I highlight the acceptance of methodological pluralism in the practice of medical ethics. Here, the point is to show the possibility of using intuitive methods given the pluralism framework. Second, I will argue that the best starting point of elaborating such methods is a bottom-up perspective. (...) Third, I will address the worry of subjectivism. Under the influence of certain rationalist positions and recent developments in cognitive science and moral psychology, one might think that intuitive methods of moral decision making are essentially subjective and emotion based. If moral intuitions are the result of emotional reactions and intuitive reasoning is emotionally driven, then there are reasons to believe intuitive methods are subjective and relative to particular psychological constitution. Against this picture, I will argue that intuitive methods of moral decision making are essentially reasons-based. A Wittgensteinian approach will show that intuitive methods of moral decision making are conceptually linked with criteria of morality. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that appeals to intuition are strong arguments just in case there is an agreement among the relevant philosophers concerning the intuition in question. Otherwise, appeals to intuition are weak arguments.
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)
There are ways that ethical intuitions might be, and the various possibilities have epistemic ramifications. This paper criticizes some extant accounts of what ethical intuitions are and how they justify, and it offers an alternative account. Roughly, an ethical intuition that p is a kind of seeming state constituted by a consideration whether p, attended by positive phenomenological qualities that count as evidence for p, and so a reason to believe that p. They are distinguished from other kinds (...) of seemings, such as those which are content driven (e.g., the sensory experience that a stick in water seems bent) and those which are competence driven (e.g., the intellectual seeming that XYZ is not water, or that one of DeMorgan’s laws is true). One important conclusion is this: when crafting a positive theory of justification ethical intuitionists have fewer resources than intuitionists in other domains, not because of the subject matter of ethical intuitions, but because of the their structure. A second conclusion is that the seemings featured in substantive ethical intuitions deliver relatively weak justification as compared to other seeming states. (shrink)
Psychologists and philosophers use the term 'intuition' for a variety of different phenomena. In this paper, I try to provide a kind of a roadmap of the debates, point to some confusions and problems, and give a brief sketch of an empirically respectable philosophical approach.
Some ethicists believe that we should give no weight to low-level intuitions about cases. In this paper, three common arguments for this position are examined and rejected. All have an empirical basis. The first is the argument from disagreement. The second draws on framing effects. And the third employs debunking explanations. The discussion aims to make a substantive methodological point about ethical inquiry, viz. that low-level intuitions are not to be shunned. Above that, however, its aim is to (...) illuminate, by way of illustration, the relation between empirical findings and normative conclusions – a link that is rather intricate and can only be explored through armchair reflection. (shrink)
It is alleged that the causal inertness of abstract objects and the causal conditions of certain naturalized epistemologies precludes the possibility of mathematical know- ledge. This paper rejects this alleged incompatibility, while also maintaining that the objects of mathematical beliefs are abstract objects, by incorporating a naturalistically acceptable account of ‘rational intuition.’ On this view, rational intuition consists in a non-inferential belief-forming process where the entertaining of propositions or certain contemplations results in true beliefs. This view is free of any (...) conditions incompatible with abstract objects, for the reason that it is not necessary that S stand in some causal relation to the entities in virtue of which p is true. Mathematical intuition is simply one kind of reliable process type, whose inputs are not abstract numbers, but rather, contemplations of abstract numbers. (shrink)
In this paper, I introduce and elucidate what seems to me the best understanding of moral intuition with reference to the intellectual seeming account. First, I will explain Bengson’s quasi-perceptualist account of philosophical intuition in terms of intellectual seeming. I then shift from philosophical intuition to moral intuition and will delineate Audi’s doxastic account of moral intuition to argue that the intellectual seeming account of intuition is superior to the doxastic account of intuition. Next, I argue that we can apply (...) our understanding of the intellectual seeming account of philosophical intuition to the moral intuition. To the extent that we can argue for the intellectual seeming account of philosophical intuition, we can have the intellectual seeming account of moral intuition. (shrink)
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.
Spatial relations are central to geometrical thinking. With respect to the classical elementary geometry of Euclid’s Elements, a distinction between co-exact, or qualitative, and exact, or metric, spatial relations has recently been advanced as fundamental. We tested the universality of intuitions of these relations in a group of Senegalese and Dutch participants. Participants performed an odd-one-out task with stimuli that in all but one case display a particular spatial relation between geometric objects. As the exact/co-exact distinction is closely related (...) to Kosslyn’s categorical/coordinate distinction, a set of stimuli for testing all four types was used. Results suggest that intuitions of all spatial relations tested are universal. Yet, culture has an important effect on performance: Dutch participants outperformed Senegalese participants and stimulus layouts affect the categorical and coordinate processing in different ways for the two groups. Differences in level of education within the Senegalese participants did not affect performance. (shrink)
Epistemic invariantism is the view that the truth conditions of knowledge ascriptions don’t vary across contexts. Epistemic purism is the view that purely practical factors can’t directly affect the strength of your epistemic position. The combination of purism and invariantism, pure invariantism, is the received view in contemporary epistemology. It has lately been criticized by contextualists, who deny invariantism, and impurists, who deny purism. A central charge against pure invariantism is that it poorly accommodates linguistic intuitions about certain cases. (...) In this paper I develop a new response to this charge. I propose that pure invariantists can explain the relevant linguistic intuitions on the grounds that they track the propriety of indirect speech acts, in particular indirect requests and denials. [Note: this paper was written in 2010-11.]. (shrink)