Intuition, Thought Experiments, and the A Priori

Albert Casullo

in Essays on a Priori Knowledge and Justification

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199777860
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933525 | DOI:
Intuition, Thought Experiments, and the A Priori

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My purpose in this paper is to examine the role of intuition in conceptual analysis and to assess whether that role can be parlayed into a plausible defense of a priori knowledge. The focus of my investigation is George Bealer's attempt to provide such a defense. I argue that Bealer's account of intuition and its evidential status faces three problems. I go on to examine the two primary arguments that Bealer offers against empiricism: the Starting Points Argument and the Argument from Epistemic Norms. I argue that the Starting Points Argument fails because Bealer fails to show that intuitions are a priori evidence and that the Argument from Epistemic Norms fails because it is open to the Stalemate Problem. I conclude by offering an alternative approach to defending the a priori status of intuitions that avoids the Stalemate Problem. The alternative approach highlights the role of empirical investigation in defending the a priori

Keywords: intuition; conceptual; analysis; thought; experiments; a priori; knowledge; Bealer

Chapter.  7868 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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