The Methodological Significance of Intuitions in Philosophy

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This chapter discusses the methodological and epistemological significance of so-called intuitions in philosophy; that is, whether intuitions can be understood as evidence for or against philosophical claims or, if not, whether they might have some other kind of methodological significance. A closely connected issue which the chapter addresses, is whether our comprehension of logical, conceptual, or metaphysical possibilities and necessities can be explained by reference to intuitions or the capacity of intuition or, if not, how our capacity to understand such modalities should be explained. In response to the accounts of Ernest Sosa and George Bealer, the author distinguishes three senses in which one might talk about intuition or intuitions. On this basis, it is argued that intuitions in the first and second senses cannot do the philosophical work with which Sosa and Bealer task intuitions, whilst the philosophical significance of intuitions in the third sense is radically different from what Sosa and Bealer suggest, namely, consisting not in their evidential status—pace Sosa and Bealer—but in the fact that their scrutiny may reveal something important about how a given philosophical issue has arisen for us, in the first place.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWittgenstein and Philosophical Traditions
EditorsJames Conant, Sebastian Sunday
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781108151764
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019

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