The reality of the intuitive

Elijah Chudnoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


According to current methodological orthodoxy philosophers rely on intuitions about thought experiments to refute general claims about the nature of knowledge, freedom, thought, reference, justice, beauty, etc. Philosophers working under the banner of ‘negative experimental philosophy’ have criticized more traditional philosophers for relying on this method. They argue that intuitions about thought experiments are influenced by factors that are irrelevant to the truth of their contents. Cappelen and Deutsch defend traditional philosophy against this critique by rejecting the picture of philosophical methodology it presupposes: philosophers do not really rely on intuitions. In this paper, I defend methodological orthodoxy by arguing that philosophers must rely on intuitions somewhere and that they do in fact often rely on intuitions about thought experiments. I also argue in favor of a reply to the negative experimental critique that is similar to at least part of Deutsch’s own.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInquiry (United Kingdom)
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 16 2016


  • centrality
  • experimental philosophy
  • Intuition
  • philosophical methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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