The standard view of philosophical methodology is that philosophers rely on intuitions as evidence. Herman Cappelen argues that this claim is false, and reveals how it has encouraged pseudo-problems, presented misguided ideas of what philosophy is, and misled exponents of metaphilosophy and experimental philosophy.
This book examines the evidential status and use of linguistic intuitions, a topic that has seen increased interest in recent years. Linguists use native speakers' intuitions - such as whether or not an utterance sounds acceptable - as evidence for theories about language, but this approach is not uncontroversial. The two parts of this volume draw on the most recent work in both philosophy and linguistics to explore the two major issues at the heart of the debate. Chapters in the first part address the 'justification question', critically analysing and evaluating the theoretical rationale for the evidential use of linguistic intuitions. The second part discusses recent developments in the domain of experimental syntax, focusing on the question of whether formal and systematic models of gathering intuitions are epistemically and methodologically superior to the informal methods that have traditionally been used. The volume provides valuable insights into whether and how linguistic intuitions can be used in theorizing about language, and will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science.
This book brings together well-known philosophers to examine how philosophy can and should contribute to our understanding of today's world and the challenges that it faces. --Jeroen de Ridder, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
What are philosophers trying to achieve? How can they succeed? Does philosophy make progress? Is it in competition with science, or doing something completely different, or neither? Timothy Williamson tackles some of the key questions surrounding philosophy in new and provocative ways, showing how philosophy begins in common sense curiosity, and develops through our capacity to dispute rationally with each other. Discussing philosophy's ability to clarify our thoughts, he explains why such clarification depends on the development of philosophical theories, and how those theories can be tested by imaginative thought experiments, and compared against each other by standards similar to those used in the natural and social sciences. He also shows how logical rigour can be understood as a way of enhancing the explanatory power of philosophical theories. Drawing on the history of philosophy to provide a track record of philosophical thinking's successes and failures, Williams overturns widely held dogmas about the distinctive nature of philosophy in comparison to the sciences, demystifies its methods, and considers the future of the discipline. From thought experiments, to deduction, to theories, this Very Short Introduction will cause you to totally rethink what philosophy is. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable. Previously published in hardback as Doing Philosophy
What kind of knowledge can we get just by thinking? Two of the world's leading philosophers develop radically different positions, in alternating chapters, on the status and nature of a priori knowledge. The reader is able to follow up-close how a philosophical debate evolves.
History of Modern Philosophy from Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time