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