Philosophy without Intuitions
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Philosophy without Intuitions

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The claim that contemporary analytic philosophers rely extensively on intuitions as evidence is almost universally accepted in current meta-philosophical debates and it figures prominently in our self-understanding as analytic philosophers. No matter what area you happen to work in and what views you happen to hold in those areas, you are likely to think that philosophizing requires constructing cases and making intuitive judgments about those cases. This assumption
also underlines the entire experimental philosophy movement: only if philosophers rely on intuitions as evidence are data about non-philosophers' intuitions of any interest to us. Our alleged reliance on the intuitive makes many philosophers who don't work on meta-philosophy concerned about their own
discipline: they are unsure what intuitions are and whether they can carry the evidential weight we allegedly assign to them.
The goal of this book is to argue that this concern is unwarranted since the claim is false: it is not true that philosophers rely extensively (or even a little bit) on intuitions as evidence. At worst, analytic philosophers are guilty of engaging in somewhat irresponsible use of 'intuition'-vocabulary. While this irresponsibility has had little effect on first order philosophy, it has fundamentally misled meta-philosophers: it has encouraged meta-philosophical pseudo-problems and misleading
pictures of what philosophy is.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 146 x 222 x 20mm | 438g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199644861
  • 9780199644865
  • 808,613

Table of contents

PART I: THE ARGUMENT FROM 'INTUITION'-TALK; PART II: THE ARGUMENT FROM PHILOSOPHICAL PRACTICE
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Review quote

I'm glad that Cappelen wrote this book . . . It's important because it (indirectly but effectively) draws attention to some challenging questions that it would be very good for meta-philosophy to get clearer on . . . it's a refreshing and provocative leftfield attack - one that we probably deserve. * Anna-Sara Malmgren, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews * Experimental results on the variability and intra-personal instability of philosophical intuitions have recently sparked a lively methodological debate about the reliability of the philosophical method. In his new book, Herman Cappelen argues that this entire debate is misguided. The reason is simple: philosophers dont rely on intuitions, so there is no reason for philosophers to worry about their reliability. Cappelens case for this claim amounts to one of the most
original and well-argued contributions to recent discussions about philosophical methodology. His book should be essential reading for anyone interested in the debate. * Kristoffer AHlstrom-Vij, Philosophical Quarterly * If you're interested in the role of intuitions in philosophy, you need to read this book. Even if you're not particularl concerned by this metaphilosophical issue youwould probably still benefit from reading this book, for it may well convince you to change theway in which you articulate your arguments and interpret other authors. Cappelen has made anexcellent contribution to the ongoing debate over the importance of intuitions in philosophy. * Stephen Ingram, Metaphilosophy * This is an engaging and exciting book. .. Whether one is convinced by its conclusion or not, Philosophy Without Intutions represents a clear jolt to contemporary metaphilosophical orthodoxy. It is a vivid and powerful call for philosophers to examine their assumptions about philosophy. Anyone interested in the role of intuitions in philosophy or the proper description of contemporary philosophical practice will benefit from studying it. * Jonathan Ichikawa, International Journal for Philosophical Studies * Cappelen's book is a wonderfully clear, largely well-argued case against a central assumption of many contemporary metaphilosophers ... it makes the prospect of a general metaphilosophy look very dim ... this is a well-argued, interesting book, challenging contemporary metaphilosophy fundamentally; I highly recommend it. * Daniel Cohnitz, Disputatio *
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About Herman Cappelen

Herman Cappelen is a professor of philosophy at the University of St Andrews, where he works at the Arche Philosophical Research Centre. He works in philosophy of language, philosophical methodology and related areas of epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. He is the author of many papers and three books: Insensitive Semantics (with Ernest Lepore), Language Turned on Itself (with Ernest Lepore), and Relativism and Monadic
Truth (with John Hawthorne).
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