Intuitions are inclinations to believe

Philosophical Studies 145 (1):89 - 109 (2009)
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Advocates of the use of intuitions in philosophy argue that they are treated as evidence because they are evidential. Their opponents agree that they are treated as evidence, but argue that they should not be so used, since they are the wrong kinds of things. In contrast to both, we argue that, despite appearances, intuitions are not treated as evidence in philosophy whether or not they should be. Our positive account is that intuitions are a subclass of inclinations to believe. Our thesis explains why intuitions play a role in persuasion and inquiry, without conceding that they are evidential. The account also makes predictions about the structure of intuitions that are confirmed by independent arguments.

Author Profiles

Bernard Molyneux
University of California, Davis
Joshua Earlenbaugh
University of California, Davis


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