APA 2014-3: Intuitions in philosophy, pro and con

Scientia Salon

trusting_your_intuitionby Massimo Pigliucci

My series of reports from the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association meetings continues with an installation on the role of intuitions in philosophy, a topic that has seen much controversy recently. The chair of the session was Joshua Schechter (Brown University), and the two speakers were Herman Cappelen (University of St Andrews, Scotland), arguing that — if we look carefully — philosophers don’t actually use intuitions, or at the least not in the way alleged by critics, and John Bengson (University of Wisconsin-Madison), who argued instead that philosophers do use intuitions, and defended the practice. I will summarize the two talks in sequence, with the usual interspersed comments. I must say upfront, however, that I very much agree with Cappelen’s take, and in fact I do cite some of his work in a book currently under review by Chicago Press, on the concept of progress…

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