You might be familiar with what philosophers call an “appeal to nature“. It is a claim that something is good or bad because of how natural it is. Sometimes an appeal to nature is a fallacy. In this post, I discuss the possibility that an appeal to intuition is that kind of fallacy.
This is a revised version of an old post about a problem with appealing to intuitions. Many of the original premises were overcomplicated and controversial — and, looking back, I am not even sure that the argument is valid…wow, that’s embarrassing. In this post, I try to make the argument less complicated and less controversial. The new argument yields a new conclusion, I think.
P1. The truth-value of a non-contingent premise is not contingent on anything. [Tautology]
P3. Our cognitive capacities are contingent on our physical properties [assumption].
C1. Our intuitions and ability to imagine is contingent on our physical properties [P2, P3: HS]. Continue reading A(nother) Puzzle About Appealing to Intuition?
I’d like to get some feedback on an argument. Here’s the rough outline of the premises.
- Our intuitions and our ability or inability to imagine (i.e., “conceivability“) are contingent upon cognitive capacities.
- Our cognitive capacities are contingent upon our material composition (e.g., the structure and function of our brains [Assumption].
- Our intuitions and ability (or inability) to imagine is contingent upon our material composition [1,2 HS]. Continue reading An Argument against the reliability of intuition