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The Rules of Thought$
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Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa and Benjamin W. Jarvis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661800.001.0001

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Against Strong Experiential Rationalism

Against Strong Experiential Rationalism

Chapter:
(p.274) 12 Against Strong Experiential Rationalism
Source:
The Rules of Thought
Author(s):

Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa

Benjamin W. Jarvis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661800.003.0013

This chapter offers the core of the argument against experientialist rationalism—the view that intuitions are a special form of experience that provide a priori evidence. The target of this chapter is strong experientialist rationalism, which holds that, ceteris paribus, a subject with the intuition that p has p as evidence by virtue of having that intuition. The central problem with strong experientialist rationalism is that it fails to account for blind irrationality—cases in which a subject's thoughts are irrational, even though he has no intuition to the effect that he is proceeding irrationally. The argument is generalized beyond strong experientialist rationalism; it also tells against Huemer's “phenomenal conservativism,” Harman's “general foundations theory,” and Foley's “subjective foundationalism.” All these views, like strong experientialist rationalism, fail to respect the objectivity of rational inquiry.

Keywords:   intuitions, rationalism, blind irrationality, phenomenal conservativism, general foundations theory, subjective foundationalism, objectivity of rational inquiry

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