Practices make perfect: On minding methodology when mooting metaphilosophy

Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In this paper, we consider two different attempts to make an end run around the experimentalist challenge to the armchair use of intuitions: one due to Max Deutsch and Herman Cappelen, contending that philosophers do not appeal to intuitions, but rather to arguments, in canonical philosophical texts; the other due to Joshua Knobe, arguing that intuitions are so stable that there is in fact no empirical basis for the experimentalist challenge in the first place. We show that a closer attention to philosophical practices reveal, in turn, that we cannot make sense of these philosophical texts as arguments all the way down; and that our methods are so sensitive to error that even a modest amount of instability is enough to raise deep methodological concerns.

Author Profiles

Jonathan Weinberg
University of Arizona
Joshua Alexander
Siena College

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