Intuitions as Evidence, Philosophical Expertise and the Development Challenge

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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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-207
    Number of pages33
    JournalPhilosophical Papers
    Volume42
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

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