Philosophy without Intuitions by Herman Cappelen

By Herman Cappelen

The declare that modern analytic philosophers count commonly on intuitions as facts is nearly universally accredited in present meta-philosophical debates and it figures prominently in our self-understanding as analytic philosophers. it doesn't matter what region you take place to paintings in and what perspectives you occur to carry in these parts, you will definitely imagine that philosophizing calls for developing instances and making intuitive judgments approximately these circumstances. This assumption additionally underlines the total experimental philosophy circulate: provided that philosophers depend upon intuitions as proof are info approximately non-philosophers' intuitions of any curiosity to us. Our alleged reliance at the intuitive makes many philosophers who do not paintings on meta-philosophy curious about their very own self-discipline: they're uncertain what intuitions are and whether or not they can hold the evidential weight we allegedly assign to them.
The objective of this booklet is to argue that this quandary is unwarranted because the declare is fake: it's not precise that philosophers count widely (or even just a little) on intuitions as facts. At worst, analytic philosophers are to blame of carrying out slightly irresponsible use of 'intuition'-vocabulary. whereas this irresponsibility has had little influence on first order philosophy, it has essentially misled meta-philosophers: it has inspired meta-philosophical pseudo-problems and deceptive photos of what philosophy is.

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Extra resources for Philosophy without Intuitions

Sample text

INTUITIVELY ’, ‘ INTUITION ’, AND ‘ SEEM ’ IN ENGLISH 37 (1Bb) is the answer to the question and thus constitutes the main point of the utterance in some significant sense. The reason for the ‘main point’ terminology is that we don’t want to say that (1Bb) is asserted. As Simons points out, The function of the parenthetical verb is very often precisely to indicate the weakness of the speaker’s commitment to the truth of the complement, while assertion generally involves an absolute commitment to the truth of what is asserted.

Looking ahead, I think careful reflection on the features of these cases will help understand philosophical judgments that are characterized as ‘intuitive’. In particular, like the Kasparov example, such philosophical judgments often involve careful reflection, inference and in some cases perception. In light of this, one might even start to question whether it is too strong to require that there is some kind of ease, effortlessness, or spontaneity involved. In what sense is this true about Kasparov’s chess playing?

In many cases, some of these smaller events are properly characterized as ‘intuitive’, while others are not. The question then is how to evaluate the intuitiveness of the entire sequence of events. I suspect what goes on is a weighting of the relative significance of the intuitive and the non-intuitive elements. In some sense, the role of the intuitive mental event when Kasparov plays has more significance than when his opponent Karpov plays. This rough idea is at least the beginning of a strategy for thinking about how events can be more or less intuitive.

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