Are philosophers expert intuiters?

Jonathan M. Weinberg, Chad Gonnerman, Cameron Buckner, Joshua Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent experimental philosophy arguments have raised trouble for philosophers' reliance on armchair intuitions. One popular line of response has been the expertise defense: philosophers are highly-trained experts, whereas the subjects in the experimental philosophy studies have generally been ordinary undergraduates, and so there's no reason to think philosophers will make the same mistakes. But this deploys a substantive empirical claim, that philosophers' training indeed inculcates sufficient protection from such mistakes. We canvass the psychological literature on expertise, which indicates that people are not generally very good at reckoning who will develop expertise under what circumstances. We consider three promising hypotheses concerning what philosophical expertise might consist in: (i) better conceptual schemata; (ii) mastery of entrenched theories; and (iii) general practical know-how with the entertaining of hypotheticals. On inspection, none seem to provide us with good reason to endorse this key empirical premise of the expertise defense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-355
Number of pages25
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Armchair Philosophy
  • Conceptual Schemata
  • Configural Rules
  • Experimental Philosophy
  • Expertise
  • Intuitions
  • Restrictionist Challenge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Philosophy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Are philosophers expert intuiters?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this