, Volume 172, Issue 3, pp 451–474 | Cite as

Bealer and the autonomy of philosophy



George Bealer has provided an elaborate defense of the practice of appealing to intuition in philosophy. In the present paper, I argue that his defense fails. First, I argue that Bealer’s theory of determinate concept possession, even if true, would not establish the “autonomy” of philosophy. That is, even if he is correct about what determinate concept possession consists in, it would not follow that it is possible to answer the central questions of philosophy by critical reflection on our intuitions. Furthermore, I argue that Bealer’s account of determinate concept possession in fact faces serious problems. Accordingly, I conclude that Bealer does not succeed in vindicating the appeal to intuition in philosophy.


Intuition Reliability of intuition Philosophical methodology Concepts Concept possession Bealer Autonomy Disagreement Property identity Semantically stable 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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