Call for papers: The role of intuitions in philosophy: New approaches


Call for papers for special issue of Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso

The role of intuitions in philosophy: New approaches.

Guest editor: David Bordonaba-Plou (Centro de Estudios en Filosofía, Lógica y Epistemología, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile; Unidad de Excelencia FiloLab, Universidad de Granada, España)

Deadline: March 31, 2022

Intuitions are a source of evidence that many people use to a greater or lesser extent. We rely on them to investigate a wide variety of issues, for example, moral, mathematical, or religious questions, or to examine other people’s opinions on a host of different topics. Although there is debate about the criteria for saying when something is an intuition, a first approximation to the meaning of the term may be to say that we intuit that p when we believe that p is true without any other belief that serves as a basis for believing that p (see Peirce, 1868/1992).That is, a belief or assertion is intuitive when it can serve as evidence to conclude other assertions or beliefs without itself depending on previous assertions or beliefs. In other words, when we do not infer it through theoretical reflection but spontaneously (see Cappelen, 2012, p. 33).

Appealing to intuitions has been one of the most widely used methods in many areas within analytic philosophy. The accepted view (see Goldman, 2007; Weinberg, 2007; Williamson, 2007, p. 2; Baz, 2012, p. 87; Koopman, 2012; Kornblith, 2014) is that intuitions play a fundamental role. Different authors point to different moments from which philosophers would have started using intuitions (Hintikka, 1999, p. 127; Cohen, 1986, p. 77, quoted by Andow, 2015, pp. 189-190) and, although there is no agreement on exactly when this trend began, what is clear is that the use of intuitions has increased exponentially over the past century (see Andow, 2015; Ashton & Mizrahi, 2018).

There has been a dispute within analytic philosophy between three different groups of philosophers during the last decades. First, the “autonomists” (see, e.g., Bealer, 1998; Liao, 2008; Sosa, 2013; Chalmers, 2014; Devitt, 2015) defend that introspection and appeal to intuition, the traditional ways of doing philosophy can be used to answer many philosophical questions satisfactorily. Second, those who defend that analytic philosophers do not employ intuitions as evidence in philosophical practice. Following Nado (2016, p. 782), I will call them “intuition deniers” (see, e.g., Williamson, 2007; Deustch, 2009; Cappelen, 2012; Molyneux, 2014). Third, those who think that analytic philosophers use intuitions as evidence but doubt this method, arguing instead for the need to apply more rigorous methods drawn from scientific disciplines such as psychology, the social sciences, or linguistics. They are often called “naturalists” (see, for example, Machery et al., 2004; Knobe and Nichols, 2007; Mallon et al., 2009; Alexander et al., 2010).

This special issue aims to include novel works addressing how philosophers use intuitions in different areas of analytic philosophy. The papers included are expected to develop novel perspectives or adopt novel approaches that shed light on traditional problems associated with intuitions in analytic philosophy. Both experimental and theoretical papers will be accepted, explicit defenses of any of the above positions, papers that point out desiderata that all three should fulfill, or papers dealing with other issues related to intuitions in analytic philosophy.

Some questions or possible topics that articles may address are:

  • Intuitions and mental experiments. What role do intuitions play in mental experiments?
  • Intuitions and disagreement. What kinds of disagreements do conflicting intuitions produce? Are they persistent disagreements?
  • Different senses of intuition. In what sense or senses are intuitions used in analytic philosophy? Is there only one sense, or are there several?
  • Role of the vocabulary of intuitions. What role does the vocabulary of intuitions play in philosophers’ arguments? Does it play a central or rather a marginal one?
  • Differences in the use of intuitions in different areas of analytic philosophy. Are intuitions used similarly in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, logic, or the philosophy of science?
  • Intuitions and justification. To what extent are intuitions used in analytic philosophy to defend theories? Are they always used as evidence in justification contexts, or are there other types of contexts in which intuitions play a central role?
  • Empirical analyses of philosophical practices that make use of intuitions.
  • Intuitions and experimental philosophy. What is the position of experimental philosophy regarding the use of intuitions in analytic philosophy? Is it possible to conjugate intuitions having adopted an experimental position and methodology?

We welcome abstracts of 500-800 words on the above topics or other issues that fit the theme and spirit of the special issue, in English or Spanish. The deadline for submitting abstracts is March 31, 2022. Abstracts must be anonymized, i.e., without any information that would allow the author to be identified (also anonymize self-citations), must include 3 to 5 keywords, and must have a section that includes only the bibliographic references used effectively in the abstract (not included in the word count).

Around April 30, 2022, we will communicate whether the abstract has been accepted. From that moment on, authors will have six months to send the complete article (8,000 words maximum). External reviewers will evaluate the papers in a double-blind review process. The reviewers may recommend acceptance, rejection, or ask the author(s) to modify the article. Acceptance of the abstract does not imply the acceptance of the article.

Abstracts should be sent to the following email:, specifying the following subject: The Role of Intuitions in Analytic Philosophy: New Approaches, and indicating in the text of the email the following information: name of the article, full name of the author(s), and institutional affiliation of the author(s).

For any questions, please write to