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Individual

The infinite Auntie

Fodor goes after intuitions (London Review of Books 26.20 (21 Oct 2004), via Experimental Philosophy).
I’ve never been good at intuitions. Even when I have them, I don’t place much stock in them. Why should my intuition that Jim or Jane does or doesn’t know the fake barn is a barn deserve respectful consideration, and publication perhaps in a peer-reviewed journal, while my intuition that table sponges are to be strictly segregated from floor sponges probably doesn't deserve to be mentioned even here, let alone used in polite controversy? The first is an intuition, the second is only a belief, a superstition, a residue of my mother’s kitchen-lore. Or so I gather.
Why some dispositions get promoted to the status of providing evidence in philosophical argument, and others do not, is beyond me. This is not for lack of thinking about the matter. But at the moment I can’t do more than express malaise. And commend Fodor.
Addendum: For a defense of the use of intuitions in analytic philosophy, see L. J. COHEN, The dialogue of reason: an analysis of analytical philosophy (Oxford, 1986). Find it at ABEBooks, Powell’s, or Amazon. See also Ernest Sosa, “A defense of intuitions” (an answer to some arguments of Stich against justification by appeal to “reflective equilibrium”).

LinkOctober 23, 2004 in Philosophy of Philosophy