Intuitions, edited by Anthony Robert Booth and Darrell P. Rowbottom

Glenn Carruthers

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Intuitions, edited by Booth and Rowbottom, provides us with several positions in a current debate between advocates of Analytic PHIlosophy (A-Phi) and their intellectual descendants, advocates of eXperimental PHIlosophy (X-Phi), regarding the nature of philosophical intuitions and the role of these in argument and justification. As is apparent through all contributions, the debate is a mess, with no agreed upon definition of ‘intuition’, its purported role and justificatory power, and even whether A-Phi ever depended in any interesting way on intuition (this is discussed by Cappelen’s paper). This is not to imply that there is no valuable work here. It’s always worthwhile asking ourselves to reflect on our methods and on whether they can achieve the goals of philosophy; and all of the chapters make a contribution to this issue. As the book is a collection, and a somewhat diverse one in terms of the conclusions reached, there is no single narrative to introduce and review. So I will impose one. This is not an artificial imposition, a mere tool upon which to hang a coherent review; rather, it is one that reflects some limitations of the debate as collected in this book. It is also a narrative that is appropriately truncated to fit a review,so please do not take the space I give to a particular contribution as an indication of my perception of the quality of said contribution. Part of the truncation requires that I focus on the role of intuition in metaphysical arguments rather than in normative arguments; you may take this as suggesting that I think of the role of intuitions in metaphysical arguments as having better developed alternatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-190
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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