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.
A(nother) Puzzle About Appealing to Intuition?
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]
P2. Our intuitions and our ability to imagine (i.e., “conceivability“) are contingent on cognitive capacities [assumption].
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?
An Argument against the reliability of 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