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Volume 50 Issue 1-2 (January 2019), Pages 1-196

Intuitions as Evidence Facilitators (pages 76-99)

Abstract There is currently an important debate about whether philosophical intuitions are intended as evidence for the theories philosophers promote. On one side are those who argue that philosophers do rely on intuitions as evidence; on the other side are those who deny any such role for philosophical intuitions. This paper argues that both sides of this debate are partially right and partially wrong. Intuitive judgments do not, as psychological states, function as evidence in most well‐known philosophical thought experiments. Philosophers nevertheless strongly depend upon these intuitive judgments. Where both sides go awry is in assuming that the importance of intuitive judgments rests solely upon their role as evidence. We need to distinguish between evidence, as such, from various nonevidential psychological states that are needed for something else to serve as evidence. The paper calls these latter conditions “evidence facilitators” and argues that intuitive judgments belong in this category.

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