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.
This paper deals with Leibniz’s well-known reductio argument against the infinite number. I will show that while the argument is in itself valid, the assumption that Leibniz reduces to absurdity does not play a relevant role. The last paragraph of the paper reformulates the whole Leibnizian argument in plural terms (i.e. by means of a plural logic) to show that it is possible to derive the contradiction that Leibniz uses in his argument even in the absence of the premise that he refutes.
Early in his career and in critical engagement with ordinary language philosophy, John Mackie developed the roots of a methodology that would be fundamental to his thinking: Mackie argues that we need to clearly separate the conceptual analysis which determines the meaning of an ordinary term and the factual analysis which is concerned with the question what, if anything, our language corresponds to in the world. I discuss how Mackie came to develop this distinction and how central ideas of his philosophy are based on it. Using the examples of Mackie’s moral skepticism and his work on Locke’s theory of perception I show how his methodology opens the door to error theories but can also support more positive claims. Finally, I put Mackie’s methodology in a historical perspective and argue that in cases like the Gettier debate, we can use it to cast light on the vagueness of the underlying methodology in some philosophical debates.
The key idea behind reduction is a simple and familiar one: it’s that there’s more to things than meets the eye. Surprisingly, this simple idea provides the resources to block a number of notable anti-reductionist arguments: Mackie’s argument from queerness against objective moral values, Kripke’s Humphrey objection and its recent variants, and Jubien’s objection from irrelevance against Lewisian modal realism. What is wrong with each of these arguments is that they suppose that what is to be reduced must not be dissimilar to what it is to be reduced to. This supposition is shown to be misguided and that the success or otherwise of a reduction turns on quite different considerations.