Cappelen between rock and a hard place
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In order for Herman Cappelen to argue in his Philosophy Without Intuitions that philosophers have been on the whole mistaken in thinking that we actually use intuitions much at all in our first-order philosophizing, he must attempt the task of characterizing what something must be, in order to be an intuition.1 I truly sympathize with the frustration he evidently feels at wrangling with that task, because I’ve felt the same in my own project critiquing what I do take to be a fairly common practice in contemporary philosophy that we often gesture at when we speak of intuitions. For the literature on intuitions can be a total mess on even the most basic questions about what intuitions are: beliefs, or sui generisseemings? Special intellective capacity, or continuous with ordinary cognition? Distinctive phenomenology, or not? On so many questions, one finds highly diverse sets of answers on offer. So when taking aim at the entire category of intuitions—either to critique what you think...