Philosophical Method and Intuitions as Assumptions

Metaphilosophy 46 (4-5):575-594 (2015)
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Abstract

Many philosophers claim to employ intuitions in their philosophical arguments. Others contest that no such intuitions are used frequently or at all in philosophy. This article suggests and defends a conception of intuitions as part of the philosophical method: intuitions are special types of philosophical assumptions to which we are invited to assent, often as premises in argument, that may serve an independent function in philosophical argument and that are not formed through a purely inferential process. A series of philosophical case studies shows that intuitions in these arguments contain the relevant features. The view has implications for philosophical method, offering a compromise between opponents on the divisive debate of the merits of experimental philosophy: experimental philosophy provides an especially useful role in philosophical assumption analysis

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Kevin Tobia
Georgetown University

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