Intuitions in Philosophical Semantics
- 407 Downloads
We argue that the term “intuition”, as it is used in metaphilosophy, is ambiguous between at least four different senses. In philosophy of language, the relevant “intuitions” are either the outputs of our competence to interpret and produce linguistic expressions, or the speakers’ or hearers’ own reports of these outputs. The semantic facts that philosophers of language are interested in are determined by the outputs of our competence. Hence, philosophers of language should be interested in investigating these, and they do this by testing what we would say or understand in hypothetical communication situations. In the final section of the paper we suggest some methods for investigating these outputs which are independent of whether subjects report them, and hence which might be used as an alternative to the standard use of hypothetical cases.
KeywordsThought Experiment Belief State Folk Psychology Intuitive Judgment Baseball Player
The material in this paper was presented at various conferences and workshops during the last months. We would like to thank those audiences, the anonymous referees for this journal, Alex Davies, Michael Devitt, Nat Hansen, Sören Häggqvist, Ole Koksvik, Genoveva Martí, Jennifer Nagel, and John Perry for helpful comments. Research on this paper was supported by the Thyssen Foundation, Estonian Science Foundation grants SFLFI11085E, IUT20-5, and ETF9083, and Norwegian Research Council grant 212841.
- Alexander, J. (2012). Experimental philosophy: An introduction. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
- Cohnitz, D. (2006). Gedankenexperimente in der Philosophie. Paderborn: Mentis.Google Scholar
- Cohnitz, D. (2014). Experimentelle sprachphilosophie. In T. Grundmann, J. Horvath & J. Kipper (Eds.), Die Experimentelle Philosophie in der Diskussion (pp. 235–258). Berlin: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
- Cohnitz, D., & Haukioja, J. (2013). Meta-externalism vs meta-internalism in the study of reference. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 91, 475–500.Google Scholar
- Cohnitz, D., & Häggqvist, S. (2009). The role of intuitions in philosophy. Studia Philosophica Estonica, 2(2), 1–14. Google Scholar
- Devitt, M. (2011a). Whither experimental semantics? Theoria, 72, 5–36.Google Scholar
- Devitt, M. (2012a). The role of intuitions in the philosophy of language. In G. Russell & D. G. Fara (Eds.), Routledge companion to the philosophy of language (pp. 554–565). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Goldman, A. (2007). Philosophical intuitions: Their target, their source, and their epistemic status. Grazer Philosophische Studien, 74, 1–26.Google Scholar
- Machery, E. (2011). Expertise and intuitions about reference. Theoria, 72, 37–54.Google Scholar
- Martí, G. (2014). Reference and experimental semantics. In E. Machery & E. O’Neill (Eds.), Current controversies in experimental philosophy (pp. 17–26). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Schütze, C. T. (1996). The empirical base of linguistics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Smith, B. C. (2006). Publicity, externalism and inner states. In T. Marvan (Ed.), What determines content? The internalism/externalism dispute. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.Google Scholar
- Tanenhaus, M. K. & Spivey-Knowlton, M. J. (1996). Eye-tracking. In F. Grosjean & U. Frauenfelder (Eds.), Language and cognitive processes: A guide to spoken word recognition paradigms (Vol. 11, pp. 583–588). Hove: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Wikipedia. (2012). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarian_hot_dog.