Intuitions’ linguistic sources: Stereotypes, intuitions, and illusions

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Intuitive judgments elicited by verbal case-descriptions play key roles in philosophical problem-setting and argument. Experimental philosophy’s ‘sources project’ seeks to develop psychological explanations of philosophically relevant intuitions which help us assess our warrant for accepting them. This paper develops a psycholinguistic explanation of intuitions prompted by philosophical case-descriptions. For proof of concept, we target intuitions underlying a classic paradox about perception (‘argument from illusion’), trace them to stereotype-driven inferences automatically executed in verb comprehension, and employ a forced-choice plausibility-ranking task to elicit the relevant stereotypical associations of perception- and appearance-verbs. We obtain a debunking explanation which resolves the philosophical paradox.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-101
Number of pages37
JournalMind and Language
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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