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Folk Intuitions, Science Fiction and Philosophy: Comment on Experimental Philosophy

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Some experimental philosophers imply that philosophers should endorse folk intuitions and even use them to advance philosophical theses. In this paper I will try to contrast experimental appeals to intuition with J. L. Austin’s, whom some experimentalists cite as a precursor of their method. I will suggest that Austin evokes ordinary intuitions in order to dismantle philosophical quests. He even suggests (a) that the appeal to ordinary intuitions of the folk can hardly prescribe answers to extraordinary circumstances and (b) that philosophical quests themselves are extraordinary. Therefore, the appeal to folk intuitions cannot prescribe answers to philosophical problems. It can only dissolve philosophical quests; yet, the dismantling of philosophy hardly accords with the experimentalists’ agenda.

Affiliations: 1: DESECE, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Patras Rion 26500 Greece, Email: gasparat@upatras.gr

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