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Putting Metaphysics FirstEssays on Metaphysics and Epistemology$
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Michael Devitt

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280803.001.0001

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Intuitions *

Intuitions *

(p.292) 14 Intuitions*
Putting Metaphysics First

Michael Devitt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Intuition mongering is common in the theory of reference and in philosophy generally. Why is this appropriate? And why is it appropriate for linguists to take intuitions as the main evidence for a grammar. The Chomskian answer to the latter question is that the intuitions are derived by a rational process from a representation of linguistic principles in the mind. Stich has suggested (although not endorsed) an analogous answer to the question about referential intuitions. This chapter takes a different view, arguing for a naturalistic and non-Cartesian view of intuitions in general. They are empirical central-processor responses to phenomena differing from other such responses only in being immediate and fairly unreflective. The view yields a naturalistic view of the characteristic method of ‘armchair philosophy’.

Keywords:   intuitions, reference, linguistics, Chomskian, Stich, naturalism, Cartesian, empirical, armchair philosophy

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