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Intuitions and Conceptual Analysis in Wittgensteinian Pragmatism

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
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  • 1 Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
  • | 2 Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
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The nature of intuitions remains a contested issue in (meta-)philosophy. Yet, intuitions are frequently cited in philosophical work, featuring most prominently in conceptual analysis, the philosophical method par excellence. In this paper, we approach the question about the nature of intuitions based on a pragmatist, namely, Wittgensteinian account of concepts. To Wittgenstein, intuitions are just immediate ‘reactions’ to certain cognitive tasks. His view provides a distinct alternative to identifying intuitions with either doxastic states or quasi-perceptual experiences. We discuss its implications for intuitions’ role in conceptual analysis and show that a Wittgensteinian account of intuitions is compatible even with ambitious metaphysical projects traditionally associated with this method.

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