Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Intuitions, philosophical appeals to

DOI: 10.4324/0123456789-DD3597-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2017
Retrieved July 17, 2024, from

Article Summary

Intuitions are, according to many philosophers, treated as a primary source of evidence in much distinctively philosophical inquiry. While some contest this claim, if it is true, then the intellectual respectability of such inquiry depends on whether intuitions are properly suited to serve as evidence.

Almost all agree that intuitions are mental states with propositional content. Some philosophers take intuitions to be beliefs of some kind. Others reject the claim that intuitions are beliefs. They hold that intuitions are occurrent conscious mental states with a distinctive subjective character.

Critics of the use of intuitions as evidence maintain that intuitions are an improper foundation for belief, alleging that they are unverifiable, unreliable, or scientifically unacceptable. Defenders of the use of intuitions maintain that intuitions are, while different from the perceptual states that serve as the basis of empirical inquiry, nonetheless justifiably treated as a foundation for philosophical inquiry.

Citing this article:
Pust, Joel. Intuitions, philosophical appeals to, 2017, doi:10.4324/0123456789-DD3597-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

Related Articles