Philosophers’ Use of ‘Intuitive’ (II): Some Strategies for Charitable Reinterpretation

Herman Cappelen

in Philosophy without Intuitions

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644865
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739026 | DOI:
Philosophers’ Use of ‘Intuitive’ (II): Some Strategies for Charitable Reinterpretation

Show Summary Details


This chapter presents three strategies for the interpretation of unreflective uses of ‘intuitive’ and its cognates by philosophers. According to the first, we can remove reference to intuition altogether without affecting the point conveyed by the philosopher. According to the second, ‘intuition’-talk is used to indicate that a proposition was reached without extensive reasoning or reflection. Finally, it is sometimes used to indicate that a proposition is pre-theoretic, or in the common ground among participants in a debate prior to theorizing. These last two uses give rise to distinctive kinds of hedging. To account for unreflective usage in which a proposition is called ‘intuitive’, it is argued, we do not need to appeal to the proposition’s having features used to characterize intuitions: a special phenomenology of seeming true, a basis in conceptual competence, or a default justificatory status.

Keywords: ‘intuitive’; intuition; hedge; pre-theoretic; common ground; seeming; conceptual competence; default justification; Kripke; Williamson; Jackson; Seider

Chapter.  11106 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.