October, 2020

Intuitions, Biases, and Extra-Wide Reflective Equilibrium

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It seems that intuitions are indispensable in philosophical theorizing. Yet, there is evidence that our intuitions are heavily influenced by biases. This generates a puzzle: we must use our intuitions, but we seemingly cannot fully trust those very intuitions. In this paper, I develop a methodology for philosophical theorizing which attempts to avoid this puzzle. Specifically, I develop and defend a methodology that I call Extra-Wide Reflective Equilibrium. I argue that this method allows us to use intuitions, while also providing a mechanism to check the influence of bias on our intuitions. In section I, defend the claim that intuitions are indispensable in philosophical theorizing. In section II, I outline recent arguments against the reliability of intuitions. In section III, I explain and defend my account of Extra-Wide Reflective Equilibrium.

This paper is forthcoming in Metaphilosophy.