Philosophical Studies

, Volume 142, Issue 2, pp 221–246 | Cite as

Thought-experiment intuitions and truth in fiction

Article

Abstract

What sorts of things are the intuitions generated via thought experiment? Timothy Williamson has responded to naturalistic skeptics by arguing that thought-experiment intuitions are judgments of ordinary counterfactuals. On this view, the intuition is naturalistically innocuous, but it has a contingent content and could be known at best a posteriori. We suggest an alternative to Williamson’s account, according to which we apprehend thought-experiment intuitions through our grasp on truth in fiction. On our view, intuitions like the Gettier intuition are necessarily true and knowable a priori. Our view, like Williamson’s, avoids naturalistic skepticism.

Keywords

Thought experiments Philosophical methodology Intuitions Gettier cases Timothy Williamson A priori knowledge 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PhilosophyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.PhilosophyBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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