intuition and philosophy of science pdf

Intuition And Philosophy Of Science Pdf

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This entry addresses the nature and epistemological role of intuition by considering the following questions: 1 What are intuitions? Consider the claim that a fully rational person does not believe both p and not- p.

Experimental philosophy is an emerging field of philosophical inquiry [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] that makes use of empirical data—often gathered through surveys which probe the intuitions of ordinary people—in order to inform research on philosophical questions. Disagreement about what experimental philosophy can accomplish is widespread. One claim is that the empirical data gathered by experimental philosophers can have an indirect effect on philosophical questions by allowing for a better understanding of the underlying psychological processes which lead to philosophical intuitions. Though, in early modern philosophy, natural philosophy was sometimes referred to as "experimental philosophy", [16] the field associated with the current sense of the term dates its origins around when a small number of students experimented with the idea of fusing philosophy to the experimental rigor of psychology. While the philosophical movement Experimental Philosophy began around though perhaps the earliest example of the approach is reported by Hewson, [17] , the use of empirical methods in philosophy far predates the emergence of the recent academic field.

IDEALIZATION, INTELLECTUAL INTUITION, INTERPRETATION, AND ONTOLOGY IN SCIENCE

This entry addresses the nature and epistemological role of intuition by considering the following questions: 1 What are intuitions? Consider the claim that a fully rational person does not believe both p and not- p. Very likely, as you considered it, that claim seemed true to you. Something similar probably happens when you consider the following propositions:. The focus of this entry is intuitions—mental states or events in which a proposition seems true in the manner of these propositions.

Some psychological research seems similarly permissive. Such research has shown that agents with sufficient experience in a given domain e. Less important than linguistic usage in various domains is whether our theorizing captures the relevant psychological and epistemological joints to be found in the world. Some philosophers equate intuitions with beliefs or with some kind of belief. For example, David Lewis writes,. Some are commonsensical, some are sophisticated; some are particular, some general; some are more firmly held, some less.

But they are all opinions…. Why adopt [A1]? Some may be moved to do so on grounds of ontological parsimony. If intuitions are beliefs, we need accept no new kind psychological state. One plausible characterization of a paradox holds that it is a set of a propositions, each of which is intuitive, but not all of which could be true.

Indeed, even before such reasoning, one might suspend belief about the contradictory set while each remained intuitive. More generally, it seems that one may believe something—that some theory is true, that some mathematical or logical proposition is a theorem, that one is hungry, or that a person is now speaking—without having any intuition that p and so belief that p is not sufficient for intuition that p. Such cases also illustrate an important feature of intuitions—their relative causal independence from explicit belief.

An analogy with perception is helpful. Just such an analogy is invoked when, for example, it is suggested that some moral intuitions may be. Kagan A more discriminating version of this sort of account holds that intuitions are beliefs with a suitable etiology.

One such account, favored by many psychologists and philosophers with naturalistic inclinations, treats intuitions as beliefs without a conscious or introspectively accessible inferential etiology Gopnik and Schwitzgebel ; Devitt ; Kornblith as in. On [A2], beliefs with an inferential origin of which a person is conscious are not intuitions. However, [A2] still mistakenly includes non-inferential perceptual beliefs, memory beliefs, and introspective beliefs as intuitions.

Moreover [A2], like [A1], runs afoul of the fact that one can have intuitions the contents of which one does not believe. The former problem might be circumvented by a content restriction on the sort of non-inferential belief at issue or further etiological restrictions. The latter problem does not appear so easily circumvented. This analysis is not open to many of the objections to [A1] and [A2]. It does not count an introspective, memory, or perceptual belief as an intuition.

However, on the assumption that the concepts in question are not contradictory, it may imply depending on what is required for competence with a concept that intuitions are infallible.

Even if intuitions are infallible, if S has mistakenly rejected one of the propositions making up a paradox, p , it seems she might, contrary to [A3], still have the intuition that p. If a disposition to believe is a propositional attitude, such an account would allow that intuitions are propositional attitudes and, unlike belief analyses, allow that one may have an intuition without belief. However, [A4] appears too liberal in placing no constraints on the nature or source of the disposition in question.

None of these cases of being disposed to believe is, taken alone, sufficient for an intuition. Such concerns about [A4] may be met with a restriction on the ground of the disposition. A more plausible account Sosa is:. However, many claim that the primary notion of intuition is one on which S has an intuition that p only when S is occurrently in the relevant conscious psychological state.

If so, any purely dispositionalist account fails to capture the occurrent conscious character of intuitions in much the way dispositional analyses of other conscious states fail.

It is quite possible to have, at a time, a large number of dispositions to believe while failing to host, at that time, a single intuition. And yet it may be true throughout that she is disposed to believe the proposition merely upon understanding it Bealer For additional discussion of dispositionalist analyses see Pust , Erlenbaugh and Molyneux , and Koksvik A final family of accounts holds that an intuition is a sui generis occurrent propositional attitude, variously characterized as one in which a proposition occurrently seems true Bealer , ; Pust ; Huemer , , in which a proposition is presented to the subject as true Chudnoff a; Bengson , or which pushes the subject to believe a proposition Koksvik Such views are united in denying that belief that p is necessary or sufficient for an intuition that p and in rejecting dispositional analyses of intuition.

The close connection between intuition that p and disposition to believe p is explained by claiming that intuitions typically serve as the ground of the disposition to believe p. According to proponents of accounts of this sort, when one has an intuition that p , one does not merely represent or believe or consider p.

Rather, p is the content of a distinctive occurrent conscious non-belief propositional attitude. Bealer, for example, claims that. When you have an intuition that A , it seems to you that A.

Bealer Some philosophers who endorse such views also hold that perceptual and other experiences have propositional contents and seek to provide an account of the distinctive features of intuition, perception and other seemings or experiences.

While this account seems fitting for much psychological work on the topic of intuitions, it is insufficiently discriminating. If memorial or introspective seemings with propositional content exist, they are not plausibly identified with intuitions of the sort with which this entry began.

Moreover, when conjoined with the view that perceptual experience consists of a suitable seeming that p , this view implies that there are perceptual intuitions. Clarity is served by stipulating that such states are not intuitions even if they are all species of some common genus. Some, however, have claimed that there is an important distinction between the intuitions of primary interest in philosophical inquiry and other states which involve intellectual seemings that p.

Those who wish to distinguish the states involved in scientific thought experiments from those typically involved in philosophical inquiry may either endorse [A7] and reject the suggestion that such physical intuitions involve the same intellectual seeming or impose further conditions on those intuitions of distinctive philosophical relevance as in the following accounts:. Moreover, possibility intuitions are also essential to philosophical practice and if the proponent of [A8] wishes to include possibility claims as the contents of intuitions rather than treating them as inferentially justified by a rational intuition and the principle that what is necessarily possible is possible , then they must treat such intuitions as possessed of an iterated modal propositional content.

It also does not require that a possibility intuition involve an occurrent iterated modal content. However, because it leaves the distinction between a rational and physical or other intuitions sometimes dependent on dispositional rather than occurrent factors, [A9] may raise worries about our ability to discern directly that we harbor a rational intuition.

Some philosophers maintain that such sui generis propositional attitudes do not exist or are not part of their own mental life.

For example, Williamson writes,. For myself, I am aware of no intellectual seeming beyond my conscious inclination to believe the Gettier proposition…. Proponents of such accounts must be concerned to explain the error of their opponents and, ideally, to enable them to locate the states in themselves.

See Chudnoff a and Koksvik for attempts to help such skeptics by describing carefully that which they should seek. For example, Williamson points out that philosophical views which entail that there are no mountains are often thought, in virtue of such entailments, to be highly counterintuitive.

The proposition that there are mountains is, however, not the content of an intuition on any of the accounts in this family. Another possible rejoinder would point out that we have extremely good grounds for believing that there are mountains and to suggest that the complaint that p is counterintuitive is merely the claim that not- p is extremely well-justified.

It has thus far been assumed that intuitions always take propositions as their objects. Some might disagree, holding that we have de re or objectual intuitions of properties or states of affairs. Indeed, it might be held that our de re grasp of various properties is what grounds or justifies our assent to propositions involving them. Pursuit of this issue would require a detailed account of propositions and properties and their relations. It would also require detailed accounts of the de dicto and de re attitudes.

None of these explorations can be undertaken here. It should be noted, however, that such a conception of our de re grasp of properties lurks under the surface of many rationalist accounts whether framed in terms of concepts or properties Bealer ; BonJour and is even more explicit in the claim that we have knowledge by acquaintance of universals Russell In addition, the precise conception of propositional contents may have to be varied with the account of intuition.

For example, those who appeal to propositions which seem true or which one is inclined to believe would presumably hold that what we are justified in believing via rational intuition is not a pure Russellian proposition but rather either a Fregean proposition or a Russellian proposition under something like a mode of presentation.

Finally, the focus above has been on intuitions as psychological states or events. Sometimes the issues surrounding intuitions are framed in terms of whether there is a distinct faculty of intuition. Still, while such talk may have its place especially in various cognitive scientific attempts to explain the occurrence of intuitions , taking it to mean more than just suggested seems to prejudice the issue of how much intuitive justification is like the justification produced by empirical faculties like vision and to invite dismissive caricatures of the view that intuitions serve to justify beliefs.

It is as accounts of such intuitions that the accounts above were evaluated. Such an assumption is not, however, essential to much of what follows. In this connection, it is worth considering the views of various theorists who hold that perceptual experience can basically represent, and present to a subject, propositions featuring sophisticated properties well beyond phenomenological ones Siegel On this kind of view, those with suitable training might have a perceptual experience that a child is ill or that a fire will soon engulf a room in the way that a non-expert has a perceptual experience that they are presented with something red.

The epistemology of such propositional perceptual states if they exist must be addressed elsewhere. Consider the following paradigmatic examples of contemporary philosophical reasoning in which a philosophical theory is taken to be prima facie undermined by contradicting an intuition regarding a particular hypothetical case:.

In each such instance, the fact that the theory or generalization in question contravenes the content of an intuition is treated as defeasible evidence against the theory or generalization. As well, the fact that a theory implies results which agree with intuitions is commonly taken to constitute prima facie support for the theory.

This use of intuitions is, perhaps, even clearer if we consider what seems to be a contrast between philosophical methodology and that of the natural sciences.

An empirical scientist must engage in empirical observation of some sort in an order to confirm or disconfirm the theories with which her discipline is engaged. If judged by her practice, the philosopher, by contrast, appears able to proceed largely or entirely from the armchair. If one takes the evidence to which natural science is primarily responsive to be that produced by empirical observation, it seems that philosophical and other inquiry proceeding from the armchair must have some other putative evidential basis.

A natural though contested suggestion is that intuitions are treated as the primary evidence in philosophical inquiry. There are, however, other prominent examples of appeals to intuition, such as those of the epistemological rationalist. For present purposes, the epistemological rationalist is one who holds that belief in some propositions is not justified by sense experience, introspection, or memory, but rather by rational intuition BonJour ; Bealer One traditional argument for rationalism appeals to various propositions which a we seem clearly justified in believing, and b seem justified not by experience, but rather simply by our seeming to see or apprehend that they are true.

Plausible candidates include principles of classical logic, basic arithmetic, analytic propositions, color or shape exclusion principles, and transitivity claims. The following examples are representative:.

Surveying Philosophers About Philosophical Intuition

Cognitive scientists have revealed systematic errors in human reasoning. There is disagreement about what these errors indicate about human rationality, but one upshot seems clear: human reasoning does not seem to fit traditional views of human rationality. This concern about rationality has made its way through various fields and has recently caught the attention of philosophers. The concern is that if philosophers are prone to systematic errors in reasoning, then the integrity of philosophy would be threatened. In this paper, I present some of the more famous work in cognitive science that has marshaled this concern. Then I present reasons to think that those with training in philosophy will be less prone to certain systematic errors in reasoning.

In recent years a growing number of philosophers writing about the methodology of philosophy have defended the surprising claim that philosophers do not use intuitions as evidence. In this paper I defend the contrary view that philosophers do use intuitions as evidence. I argue that this thesis is the best explanation of several salient facts about philosophical practice. First, philosophers tend to believe propositions which they find intuitive. Second, philosophers offer error theories for intuitions that conflict with their theories.


PDF | In recent years a growing number of philosophers writing about the Philosophy ', in Rational Intuition: Philosophical Roots, Scientific.


The Role of Intuitions in Philosophical Methodology

This paper addresses the definition and the operational use of intuitions in philosophical methods in the form of a research study encompassing several regions of the globe, involving philosophers from a wide array of academic backgrounds and areas of specialisation. The authors tested whether philosophers agree on the conceptual definition and the operational use of intuitions, and investigated whether specific demographic variables and philosophical specialisation influence how philosophers define and use intuitions. The results obtained point to a number of significant findings, including that philosophers distinguish between intuitions used to formulate discovery and to test justification philosophical theory. The survey results suggest that strategies implemented to characterise philosophical intuition are not well motivated since, even though philosophers do not agree on a single account of intuition, they fail to capture a preferred usage of intuitions as aspects of discovery.

This paper addresses the definition and the operational use of intuitions in philosophical methods in the form of a research study encompassing several regions of the globe, involving philosophers from a wide array of academic backgrounds and areas of specialisation. The authors tested whether philosophers agree on the conceptual definition and the operational use of intuitions, and investigated whether specific demographic variables and philosophical specialisation influence how philosophers define and use intuitions. The results obtained point to a number of significant findings, including that philosophers distinguish between intuitions used to formulate discovery and to test justification philosophical theory.

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Duncan O.

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Dibullmodan

PDF | On Jul 10, , Darrell P. Rowbottom published Intuitions in Science debates in philosophy of science, in so far as (often relatively.

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