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June 11th, 2010

Intuition and Style

Cian Dorr writes:

But very often, ‘intuition’ talk is playing no such distinctive role. Often, saying ‘Intuitively, P’ is no more than a device for committing oneself to P while signaling that one is not going to provide any further arguments for this claim. In this use, ‘intuitively …’ is more or less interchangeable with ‘it seems to me that …’. There is a pure and chilly way of writing philosophy in which premises and conclusions are baldly asserted. But it’s hard to write like this without seeming to bully one’s readers; one can make things a bit gentler and more human by occasionally inserting qualifiers like ‘it seems that’. It would be absurd to accuse someone who frequently gave in to this stylistic temptation of following a bankrupt methodology that presupposes the erroneous claim that things generally are as they seem.

That seems entirely right to me. Or, as I might have said, it is entirely right.

Posted by Brian Weatherson in Uncategorized

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One Response to “Intuition and Style”

  1. mpianalto says:

    Intuitively, I agree.

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