Saturday, June 20, 2009

Intuitions and Begging the Question

Intuitions and Begging the Question. Under Review. Version of 4 July, 2009.
What are philosophical intuitions? There is a tension between two intuitive criteria. On the one hand, many of our ordinary beliefs do not seem intuitively to be intuitions; this suggests a relatively restrictionist approach to intuitions. (A few attempts to restrict: intuitions must be noninferential, or have modal force, or abstract contents.) On the other hand, it is counterintuitive to deny a great many of our beliefs—including some that are inferential, transparently contingent, and about concrete things. This suggests a liberal conception of intuitions. I defend the liberal view from the objection that it faces intuitive counterexamples; central to the defense is a treatment of the pragmatics of ‘intuition’ language: we cite intuitions, instead of directly expressing our beliefs via assertion, when we are attempting to avoid begging questions against certain sorts of philosophical interlocutors.


  1. [...] Intuitions and Begging the Question is now under review. Check it out if you’re interested in reading what I think about intuitions, and making me wish I’d asked you for comments on it before submitting it. [...]

  2. [...] he calls ‘reasoned-to judgments’. Anything reasoned to is, Brian says, no intuition. I disagree, but let’s allow the stipulation. The question is whether we have any special reason to care [...]