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  1. The ‘If’ in the ‘What If’.Daniele Sgaravatti - 2019 - Topoi 38 (4):811-820.
    In this paper, I defend the view that any good account of the logical form of thought experiments should contain a conditional. Moreover, there are some reasons to think it should be a counterfactual conditional. First, I defend Williamson’s account of the logical form of thought experiments against a competing account offered by Ichikawa and Jarvis. The two accounts have a similar structure, but Williamson’s posits a counterfactual conditional where Ichikawa and Jarvis’ posits a strict conditional. Williamson’s motivation is related (...)
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  • The Traditional Conception of the a Priori.Masashi Kasaki & C. S. I. Jenkins - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2725-2746.
    In this paper, we explore the traditional conception of a prioricity as epistemic independence of evidence from sense experience. We investigate the fortunes of the traditional conception in the light of recent challenges by Timothy Williamson. We contend that Williamson’s arguments can be resisted in various ways. En route, we argue that Williamson’s views are not as distant from tradition as they might seem at first glance.
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  • Modal Skepticism and Counterfactual Knowledge.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):605-623.
    Abstract Timothy Williamson has recently proposed to undermine modal skepticism by appealing to the reducibility of modal to counterfactual logic ( Reducibility ). Central to Williamson’s strategy is the claim that use of the same non-deductive mode of inference ( counterfactual development , or CD ) whereby we typically arrive at knowledge of counterfactuals suffices for arriving at knowledge of metaphysical necessity via Reducibility. Granting Reducibility, I ask whether the use of CD plays any essential role in a Reducibility-based reply (...)
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  • Running Risks Morally.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):141-163.
    I defend normative externalism from the objection that it cannot account for the wrongfulness of moral recklessness. The defence is fairly simple—there is no wrong of moral recklessness. There is an intuitive argument by analogy that there should be a wrong of moral recklessness, and the bulk of the paper consists of a response to this analogy. A central part of my response is that if people were motivated to avoid moral recklessness, they would have to have an unpleasant sort (...)
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  • Thought Experiments and the Problem of Deviant Realizations.Thomas Grundmann & Joachim Horvath - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):525-533.
    Descriptions of Gettier cases can be interpreted in ways that are incompatible with the standard judgment that they are cases of justified true belief without knowledge. Timothy Williamson claims that this problem cannot be avoided by adding further stipulations to the case descriptions. To the contrary, we argue that there is a fairly simple way to amend the Ford case, a standard description of a Gettier case, in such a manner that all deviant interpretations are ruled out. This removes one (...)
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  • Counterfactuals Versus Conceivability as a Guide to Modal Knowledge.Daniel Dohrn - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    I compare two prominent approaches to knowledge of metaphysical modality, the more traditional approach via conceiving viz. imagining a scenario and a more recent approach via counterfactual reasoning. In particular, Timothy Williamson has claimed that the proper context for a modal exercise of imagination is a counterfactual supposition. I critically assess this claim, arguing that a purely conceivability/imaginability-based approach has a key advantage compared to a counterfactual-based one. It can take on board Williamson’s insights about the structure of modal imagination (...)
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  • Teleologies and the Methodology of Epistemology.Georgi Gardiner - 2015 - In David Henderson & John Greco (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 31-45.
    The teleological approach to an epistemic concept investigates it by asking questions such as ‘what is the purpose of the concept?’, ‘What role has it played in the past?’, or ‘If we imagine a society without the concept, why would they feel the need to invent it?’ The idea behind the teleological approach is that examining the function of the concept illuminates the contours of the concept itself. This approach is a relatively new development in epistemology, and as yet there (...)
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  • Evidence and Intuition.Yuri Cath - 2012 - Episteme 9 (4):311-328.
    Many philosophers accept a view – what I will call the intuition picture – according to which intuitions are crucial evidence in philosophy. Recently, Williamson has argued that such views are best abandoned because they lead to a psychologistic conception of philosophical evidence that encourages scepticism about the armchair judgements relied upon in philosophy. In this paper I respond to this criticism by showing how the intuition picture can be formulated in such a way that: it is consistent with a (...)
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  • Varieties of Inference?Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):221-254.
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  • The Nature of Intuitions and Their Role in Material Object Metaphysics.Andrew Higgins - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Illinois
    I argue for three central theses: ‘intuition’ is ambiguous, in material object metaphysics ‘intuition’ refers to pre-theoretical beliefs, and these pre-theoretical beliefs are generated by an innate physical reasoning system. I begin by outlining the relevant background discussions on the nature of intuitions and their role in philosophy to motivate the need for a more careful investigation of the meaning of ‘intuition’ and the role of intuitions in specific sub-disciplines of philosophy. In chapters one and two I argue that ‘intuition’ (...)
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  • A Pragmatic View of Proper Name Reference.Peter Ridley - 2016 - Dissertation, King's College London
    I argue, in this thesis, that proper name reference is a wholly pragmatic phenomenon. The reference of a proper name is neither constitutive of, nor determined by, the semantic content of that name, but is determined, on an occasion of use, by pragmatic factors. The majority of views in the literature on proper name reference claim that reference is in some way determined by the semantics of the name, either because their reference simply constitutes their semantics (which generally requires a (...)
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  • Platonism and the Apriori in Thought Experiments.Thomas Grundmann - 2017 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London, New York: Routledge.
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  • The Epistemology of Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):825-838.
    This article surveys recent developments in the epistemology of modality.
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  • Games, Beliefs and Credences.Brian Weatherson - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):209-236.
    In previous work I’ve defended an interest-relative theory of belief. This paper continues the defence. It has four aims. -/- 1. To offer a new kind of reason for being unsatis ed with the simple Lockean reduction of belief to credence. 2. To defend the legitimacy of appealing to credences in a theory of belief. 3. To illustrate the importance of theoretical, as well as practical, interests in an interest-relative account of belief. 4. To revise my account to cover propositions (...)
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  • Thought Experiments in Current Metaphilosophical Debates.Daniel Cohnitz & Sören Häggqvist - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 406-424.
    Although thought experiments were first discovered as a sui generis methodological tool by philosophers of science (most prominently by Ernst Mach), the tool can also be found – even more frequently – in contemporary philosophy. Thought experiments in philosophy and science have a lot in common. However, in this chapter we will concentrate on thought experiments in philosophy only. Their use has been the centre of attention of metaphilosophical discussion in the past decade, and this chapter will provide an overview (...)
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  • Models of Philosophical Thought Experimentation.Jonathan Andy Tapsell - 2014 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    The practice of thought experimentation plays a central role in contemporary philosophical methodology. Many philosophers rely on thought experimentation as their primary and even sole procedure for testing theories about the natures of properties and relations. This test procedure involves entertaining hypothetical cases in imaginative thought and then undergoing intuitions about the distribution of properties and relations in them. A theory’s comporting with an intuition is treated as evidence in favour of it; but a clash is treated as evidence against (...)
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  • Interpreting Intuitions.Marcus McGahhey & Neil Van Leeuwen - 2018 - In Julie Kirsch Patrizia Pedrini (ed.), Third-Person Self-Knowledge, Self-Interpretation, and Narrative. Springer Verlag.
    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 (...)
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  • Fiction and Thought Experiment - A Case Study.Daniel Dohrn - 2016 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 35 (3):185-199.
    Many philosophers are very sanguine about the cognitive contributions of fiction to science and philosophy. I focus on a case study: Ichikawa and Jarvis’s account of thought experiments in terms of everyday fictional stories. As far as the contribution of fiction is not sui generis, processing fiction often will be parasitic on cognitive capacities which may replace it; as far as it is sui generis, nothing guarantees that fiction is sufficiently well-behaved to abide by the constraints of scientific and philosophical (...)
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  • Judgements About Thought Experiments.Alexander Geddes - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):35-67.
    Thought experiments invite us to evaluate philosophical theses by making judgements about hypothetical cases. When the judgements and the theses conflict, it is often the latter that are rejected. But what is the nature of the judgements such that they are able to play this role? I answer this question by arguing that typical judgements about thought experiments are in fact judgements of normal counterfactual sufficiency. I begin by focusing on Anna-Sara Malmgren’s defence of the claim that typical judgements about (...)
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  • Modal Humeanism and Arguments From Possibility.Margot Strohminger - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):391-401.
    Sider (2011, 2013) proposes a reductive analysis of metaphysical modality—‘(modal) Humeanism’—and goes on to argue that it has interesting epistemological and methodological implications. In particular, Humeanism is supposed to undermine a class of ‘arguments from possibility’, which includes Sider's (1993) own argument against mereological nihilism and Chalmers's (1996) argument against physicalism. I argue that Sider's arguments do not go through, and moreover that we should instead expect Humeanism to be compatible with the practice of arguing from possibility in philosophy.
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  • Intuition in Gettier.Elijah Chudnoff - forthcoming - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Classic Philosophical Arguments: The Gettier Problem. Cambridge: Cambridge University Presss.
    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 (...)
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  • Philosophical Methods Under Scrutiny: Introduction to the Special Issue "Philosophical Methods".Anna-Maria A. Eder, Insa Lawler & Raphael van Riel - 2018 - Synthese:1-9.
    This paper is the introduction to the Special Issue “Philosophical Methods”. The Special Issue will be published by Synthese.
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  • Semantic Externalism Without Thought Experiments.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2018 - Analysis (1):81-89.
    Externalism is the thesis that the contents of intentional states and speech acts are not determined by the way the subjects of those states or acts are internally. It is a widely accepted but not entirely uncontroversial thesis. Among such theses in philosophy, externalism is notable for owing the assent it commands almost entirely to thought experiments, especially to variants of Hilary Putnam's famous Twin Earth scenario. This paper presents a thought experiment-free argument for externalism. It shows that externalism is (...)
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  • The Intellectual Given.John Bengson - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):707-760.
    Intuition is sometimes derided as an abstruse or esoteric phenomenon akin to crystal-ball gazing. Such derision appears to be fuelled primarily by the suggestion, evidently endorsed by traditional rationalists such as Plato and Descartes, that intuition is a kind of direct, immediate apprehension akin to perception. This paper suggests that although the perceptual analogy has often been dismissed as encouraging a theoretically useless metaphor, a quasi-perceptualist view of intuition may enable rationalists to begin to meet the challenge of supplying a (...)
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  • Recent Attempts to Defend the Philosophical Method of Cases and the Linguistic Turn.Avner Baz - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):105-130.
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  • Thought Experiments Without Possible Worlds.Daniel Dohrn - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):363-384.
    The method of thought experiments or possible cases is widespread in philosophy and elsewhere. Thought experiments come with variegated theoretical commitments. These commitments are risky. They may turn out to be false or at least controversial. Other things being equal, it seems preferable to do with minimal commitments. I explore exemplary ways of minimising commitments, focusing on modal ones. There is a near-consensus to treat the scenarios considered in thought experiments as metaphysical possibilities. I challenge this consensus. Paradigmatic thought experiments (...)
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  • Philosophical Analysis: The Concept Grounding View.Joachim Horvath - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):724-750.
    Philosophical analysis was the central preoccupation of 20th-century analytic philosophy. In the contemporary methodological debate, however, it faces a number of pressing external and internal challenges. While external challenges, like those from experimental philosophy or semantic externalism, have been extensively discussed, internal challenges to philosophical analysis have received much less attention. One especially vexing internal challenge is that the success conditions of philosophical analysis are deeply unclear. According to the standard textbook view, a philosophical analysis aims at a strict biconditional (...)
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  • New Arguments That Philosophers Don't Treat Intuitions as Evidence.Bernard Molyneux - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (3):441-461.
    According to orthodox views of philosophical methodology, when philosophers appeal to intuitions, they treat them as evidence for their contents. Call this “descriptive evidentialism.” Descriptive evidentialism is assumed both by those who defend the epistemic status of intuitions and by those, including many experimental philosophers, who criticize it. This article shows, however, that the idea that philosophers treat intuitions as evidence struggles to account for the way philosophers treat intuitions in a variety of philosophical contexts. In particular, it cannot account (...)
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  • Normalcy and the Contents of Philosophical Judgements.Georgi Gardiner - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (7-8):700-740.
    Thought experiments as counterexamples are a familiar tool in philosophy. Frequently understanding a vignette seems to generate a challenge to a target theory. In this paper I explore the content of the judgement that we have in response to these vignettes. I first introduce several competing proposals for the content of our judgement, and explain why they are inadequate. I then advance an alternative view. I argue that when we hear vignettes we consider the normal instances of the vignette. If (...)
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  • Judgements, Expertise, and Counterfactuals.Sören Häggqvist - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (7-8):741-754.
    In The Philosophy of Philosophy, Tim Williamson has offered a sophisticated account of thought experiments and of modal epistemology. More recently, he has also engaged in a variant of the so-called ‘expertise defence’ of traditional philosophical methodology. In this paper I argue that if Williamson’s account of thought experiments and of modal epistemology is right, this seriously undermines his version of the expertise defence.
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  • Précis of Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds.Edouard Machery - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):221-229.
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  • Intuitions as Inferential Judgments.Magdalena Balcerak Jackson - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):7-29.
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  • Philosophical Expertise Beyond Intuitions.Anna Drożdżowicz - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (2):253-277.
    In what sense, if any, are philosophers experts in their domain of research and what could philosophical expertise be? The above questions are particularly pressing given recent methodological disputes in philosophy. The so-called expertise defense recently proposed as a reply to experimental philosophers postulates that philosophers are experts qua having improved intuitions. However, this model of philosophical expertise has been challenged by studies suggesting that philosophers’ intuitions are no less prone to biases and distortions than intuitions of non-philosophers. Should we (...)
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  • Avner Baz on the ‘Point’ of a Question.Max Deutsch - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (7-8):875-894.
    Avner Baz claims that questions philosophers ask about hypothetical cases lack the kind of ‘point’ possessed by ‘everyday’ questions. He concludes from this that there is something wrong with the philosophical practice of asking questions about hypothetical cases. This paper defends the practice from Baz’s criticism.
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