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The A Priori in Philosophy$
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Albert Casullo and Joshua C. Thurow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695331

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695331.001.0001

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Philosophical Naturalism and Intuitional Methodology *

Philosophical Naturalism and Intuitional Methodology *

Chapter:
(p.10) (p.11) 1 Philosophical Naturalism and Intuitional Methodology*
Source:
The A Priori in Philosophy
Author(s):

Alvin I. Goldman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695331.003.0002

Parts of philosophy employ intuitions or intuitive judgments, and this intuitional methodology is the subject of recent criticism, especially by experimental philosophers. Is the methodology sound or shoddy? Does it provide reliable evidence; and if so, what is it evidence of? Further questions concern the nature of the methodology. Is it fundamentally a priori, or does it have a different nature? (And how should we characterize the a priori? What alternative epistemic “natures” should be considered?) Cognitive science—an empirical science, obviously—has an important role to play in addressing these questions. The method involves, in large part, psychological processes by which intuitors (either philosophers themselves or their non-philosophical respondents) arrive at classification judgments. Since classification judgment are applications of concepts in the respondents’ minds, the nature and soundness (e.g., reliability) of the concept application process is a central issue; and this is a topic within the purview of cognitive science.

Keywords:   a priori, armchair philosophy, classification judgments, cognitive science, community-specific classifiers, concepts, evidential status, experimental philosophy, free-floating classifiers, indicator reliability, intuitions, methodology, person-specific classifiers, process reliability

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