There’s a great workshop at Stanford this weekend on logic, epistemology and science. This workshop features tutorials and talks at the intersection of those domains. In addition, the tutorials and talks draw on a number of formal methods (e.g., dynamic epistemic logic, learning theory and probability). Click here for more details on the workshop.
Category Archives: Methodology
Arché Research Center at the University of St. Andrews is hosting an upcoming conference on philosophical methodology. The conference is June 23-25, 2011. Below is a description of the conference and a link to the conference website.
It has become increasingly popular to claim that the subject matter of philosophy is neither linguistic nor conceptual. In this sense, it has been suggested that the so-called “linguistic turn” was a mistake and the target of philosophy properly conceived is nonconceptual and nonlinguistic (e.g., Williamson, The Philosophy of Philosophy). Despite this, philosophers still routinely appeal to ordinary linguistic use and linguistic theory in constructing and criticising philosophical theories. The contrast between the alleged target of philosophy and continued reliance on linguistic information in solving philosophical questions raises a number of issues which are the focus of this conference.
- Link: Conference Website
This post concludes coverage of the factivity debate. Brueckner and Buford (2010) fire the last shot. They claim that Baumann’s response, which I covered in post 3, only works because the time-indexing of knowledge-attribution sentences was dropped. Let me explain.
As you may recall, the debate is over premise (3) in the Factivity Problem. The question is: Can Mary know in her demanding context a sentence about Frank’s epistemic status (i.e., that he knows that Mary has hands) is true in Frank’s less demanding context? According to Brueckner and Buford, Mary would have to know that she has hands in order to know whether the sentence about Frank’s epistemic status is true. Given Mary’s evidence and her demanding context, it’s not possible for Mary to know that she has hands; thus, it’s not possible for Mary to know the sentence about Frank’s epistemic status in his context is true.
Baumann claims this response doesn’t work because it requires Mary to have prior knowledge that she has hands independent from, and prior to, her knowing that Frank knows that she has hands. This is false because testimonial knowledge can be given and attained, even within a demanding context. This knowledge allows, for instance, Wiles to know that Fermat’s Last Theorem is true by reading about his results in a newspaper. Wiles had no prior knowledge of the results of Fermat’s Theorem. By analogy, Mary can “read” knowledge of Frank’s epistemic status off Ann’s testimony. Ann has better evidence of the truth of the sentence about what Frank knows about Mary having hands.
Enter: Brueckner and Buford’s final response. The problem stems from a mischaracterization of the time sequence. At time (t) Mary’s evidence about her having hands doesn’t qualify to meet the demands put on knowledge in that context. Baumann loses the time-indexing and proposes another time (t’) at which Mary meets Ann. At (t’) Mary gains testimonial knowledge and comes to know that Ann’s utterance of the sentence ‘“Frank knows that Mary has hands” is true in O’ is true in D. This is because of (X):
- (X) ‘Ann knows that Mary has hands’ is true in D.
However, contrary to Baumann’s insistence, the time shift from (t) to (t’) doesn’t hinge on a principle like (Prior). Mary doesn’t have prior, independent knowledge that the sentence is true. At (t) she has no such knowledge, but at (t’) she does have such knowledge. Brueckner and Buford are fine with this type of gain in testimonial knowledge. Their key point is that Mary’s epistemic state has altered from (t) to (t’). There’s nothing wrong with Mary failing to know that she has hands at (t) and Mary knowing that she has hands at (t’). Focusing on (t) Brueckner and Buford’s response to the Factivity Problem still stands.
Tracking this debate has been interesting. Regarding the debate itself, I would say Brueckner and Buford’s challenge is still on the table. It seems the Factivity Problem is not a problem for Contextualism. The burden of proof is on those who want to apply the problem to contextualism and then fend off the problem. Otherwise, the Factivity problem seems like a pseudo-problem. It dissolves upon closer inspection.
There might be different avenues for the contextualist to pursue in showing the problem is real and that the problem can be handled. The ‘B vs. B&B’ debate focuses around a single premise in the Factivity argument because it is viewed as, “By far the most promising way of attacking the view that there is such a factivity problem for contextualism” (Baumann 2010: 84). Yet, different avenues remain open to the contextualist. She could attack closure, factivity or disquotation principles. I wonder what the prospects are for focusing on the factivity claim in the argument ? Listen to how strongly Baumann expresses the pull of the factivity claim:
It certainly seems weird if not crazy to deny the factivity of knowledge. Whatever knowledge is, it is factive. Nothing is a concept of knowledge in a broad sense if what it is a concept of isn’t factive. The solution to the factivity problem proposed here will therefore not deny factivity (Baumann 2008: 584).
The quote above strikes my ear as argument by brute force. Baumann doesn’t think denying the factivity claim is promising. He doesn’t argue against it because “obviously” knowledge is factive. But, couldn’t a contextualist deny factivity on fallibilist grounds (e.g., Stewart Cohen 1988)? Why does Baumann think attacking factivity is so “obviously” unfruitful? Why must it always be the case that if someone knows something then what they know is the case?
I close on a methodological note. It’s interesting to track a philosophical debate because there’s a narrowing effect that often occurs. For example, the Factivity Problem originally addressed contextualism and SSI. However, SSI dropped out of the picture never to return. I have found this true in my own work. I recently was involved in a debate that focused around a single issue. I kept trying to explain and argue a small point. After failing to make headway I conceded the point to my interlocutor. Ironically, conceding the smaller point allowed me to argue for a larger point more effectively. This is why it’s beneficial to frequently zoom out and locate the contested point in the bigger picture. For the Factivity Debate to continue the discussants need to let go of premise (3) and look at other lines of debate, including forgotten aspects of the bigger picture.
For ease of reference, below is an index of my posts on Williamson’s “Evidence in Philosophy” chapter in The Philosophy of Philosophy. Williamson’s chapter 7 is broken down into sections. I commented and analyzed each section in the chapter.
- 7.1: Evidence Neutrality
- 7.2: Argument Against Intuitions
- 7.3: Judgment Skepticism
- 7.4: The Judgment Skeptic’s Mistake
- 7.5.1: Traditional Skepticism
- 7.5.2: More on Evidence Neutrality
- 7.6: Epistemic Conservatism
- 7.7: Reflective Equilibrium
Here’s a pointer to an interesting conference entitled The Point and Purpose of Epistemic Evaluation. This conference explores one idea in the methodology of epistemology. The idea is that, “the point(s) and purpose(s) of epistemic evaluation ought to significantly constrain and inform substantive accounts of knowledge and knowledge-related phenomena.”
The conference description mentions Craig’s Knowledge and the State of Nature as an example of instantiating this idea. I also think Alston’s Beyond Justification is an example of this approach.
In this post, I will primarily summarize the rest of section 5. I will discuss intuition in detail in connection with section 6, but Williamson does raise some worries about intuition in section 5. Again, Williamson wields the evidence neutrality (EN) thesis. This time he uses EN to claim that it cannot be satisfied in relation to the evidential force of intuitions. A theory of intuitions needs to be able to distinguish weak from strong intuitions. This is because a theory of evidence will need to make choices between conflicting intuitions according to their evidential strength. However, according to Williamson, philosophers will tend to overestimate the strength of intuitions they have a vested interest in seeing succeed (i.e., intuitions that support their favored theory of knowledge, evidence or intuitions). Such theory-driven wishful thinking will result in a lack of “uncontentious decidability” as inquirers disagree whether someone (or, they themselves) have an intuition with a certain strength. A distinction was raised by Derek Ball here between the phenomenological and evidential force of intuitions. He argued it is not always clear which interpretation is at stake. Williamson is overtly talking about the evidential force of intuitions, but when talking about aspects of human psychology and vested interests his discussion could be interpreted in terms of the phenomenological force of intuitions. This is because human psychology is to blame for over or underestimating the strength of intuitions. There will be gradations in felt subjective certainty accompanying various intuitions according to whether the intuitions align with one’s professional and psychological interests. Even trying to compensate for bias will be difficult because one can see bias in another person easier than one can see bias in one’s own self. The phenomenological force of intuitions as experienced in consciousness is not a guide to resolving biases. Such factors make it difficult to reach an uncontentious view of the objective facts about intuitions (i.e., their strength in relation to a hypothesis). In fact, Williamson’s point seems stronger when the phenomenological reading instead of the evidential reading is considered. This aligns Williamson’s comments with Jonathan Weinberg’s comments in his paper on the hopelessness of intuitions (i.e., nothing within the intuition signal, or human psychology, is able to adequately recognize and correct cases of intuitions-gone-astray).
In the last half of section 5 Williamson goes into a discussion on the dialectical standard of evidence. Again, Williamson is trying to address the judgment skeptic. This view of evidence avoids the trap of resorting to psychological facts to try and resolve disputes about the evidence. In a dialectical context evidence is that which is uncontroversial in that debate or context. Evidence does not have to be foundational or uncontroversial across all contexts. Instead, it only needs to be uncontroversial in that context; if inquirers can agree over what counts as evidence, then what they agree on counts as evidence in that context. Williamson finds this view of evidence wanting because it results in conceding too much to the skeptic. Accepting as evidence only propositions that are true if one is a BIV, in order to have meaningful debate with the skeptic, does not have to lead one to a wholesale acceptance of skepticism about the external world. However, according to Williamson, giving the skeptic his or her premises forces one into a conclusion that one does not endorse. If one does not play the skeptic’s game, then the dialectical standard of evidence ends up being irrelevant. Another possibility is to switch to a non-dialectical standard. Given this standard the fact challenged by the skeptic is not disqualified as evidence. For example, one might take the fact that a Gettier subject lacks knowledge or the fact that there are mountains in Switzerland as evidence even though these facts are contentious to the skeptic. To ignore these facts is to violate the Carnapian total evidence requirement. Williamson wonders if such a move is a legitimate response to judgment skepticism?
Williamson’s conclusion is that we need to widen our evidential base. Even if intuitions were the most reliable forms of evidence it does not follow that we should restrict our evidence to just intuitions. Facts that the judgment skeptic hold as highly probable (in contrast to contentious facts about the existence of mountains) are not to be the only facts considered. We do not need to play the skeptic’s game just because she holds that only facts that are certain (because they align with the micro-physical structure of the universe) can be admitted as evidence. According to Williamson there is nothing wrong with continuing to claim knowledge of truths in contention. The “dialectic” is not the measure of all things. As Williamson says:
No methodology is proof against misapplication by those with sufficiently poor judgment.
It is not the job of good methodology to silence all people who propose, for instance, astrological predictions as truths. Instead, good methodology must separate good from bad intellectual practices. I imagine Williamson thinks he is doing this by contributing to the literature on philosophical methodology, by uncovering things like the consequence fallacy and other ways methodology goes astray. This is a useful endeavor, but because of Williamson’s clear bias for knowledge-first epistemology, epistemic externalism and a whole host of other theoretical commitments in analyticity, assertion, and so on Williamson’s work could be accused of the very thing he is arguing against, namely, proposing an account of methodology to philosophy in general (even giving the book the sweeping title The Philosophy of Philosophy) in a way that is highly uncontentiously decidable and violates the total evidence requirement by primarily using evidence from Gettier cases and revisionary metaphysics. As I have studied chapter 7 in POP I have kept coming back to inconsistencies between the content Williamson is arguing for and the methodology he is using in arguing for it. I’d be curious to know if anyone else has noticed the same inconsistencies.
I just posted a new paper on my papers page. It is a critique of Williamson’s notion of Evidence Neutrality. Here’s the abstract:
- This paper looks at Timothy Williamson’s formulation of the thesis of Evidence Neutrality (EN). I motivate and argue for an upgraded version of EN by showing that changing one’s assumption about the nature of evidence (i.e. fallibility vs. factivity) generates a different verdict on EN. Then, I show how Williamson’s interpretation of EN is incomplete in light of a principle that guides his complete understanding of the nature of evidence. I reformulate EN to overcome deficiencies in Williamson’s interpretation of EN, and, lastly, I use cases from philosophy and science to show that reformulated-EN promotes better practices in both domains while, at the same time, it avoids psychologizing evidence.
In Philosophy of Philosophy chapter 7, section 2 Williamson reaches a provocative conclusion about intuitions:
Philosophers might be better off not using the word “intuition” and its cognates. Their main current function is not to answer questions about the nature of the evidence on offer but to fudge them, by appearing to provide answers without really doing so (2007: 220).
The bumper sticker for Williamson’s argument could be: “intuitions are nothing special.” How does he reach the conclusion that intuitions fail to be distinctive and that they constitute “smoke and mirrors” methodology?
Williamson’s argument against intuitions is reductive. He explores various interpretations of intuitions and shows that each account can be reduced to routine forms of reasoning. Further, he argues that the use of intuitions in philosophy is pernicious. The practice is ineffective in answering philosophical questions and makes what philosophers do look like a scandal against rigor.
The context of this argument is Williamson’s argument against Evidence Neutrality (which I discuss here) and Williamson’s 2004 paper on intuitions (which is found in the journal dialectica). I will not rehearse those arguments, but as a rough summary of key considerations: intuitions are often taken to be evidence in philosophy, as evidence intuitions report psychological facts, Williamson is an externalist about mind, he wants to show that intuitions are not truly evidence, thus his favored understanding of evidence (as factive, not psychological) is unfazed by the misuse of the word “intuition” by philosophers. Put simply, intuition-speak is something philosophers engage in when they run out of arguments and want to try to make evidence uncontentiously decidable. Philosophers need to own up to the fact that evidence is always contestable. This last claim, of course, can be placed in the context of Knowledge and its Limits (i.e., one can know something without being in a position to know it). Now, I will raise problems with Williamson’s treatment of intuitions.
I claim that only if certain distinctions are misapplied or ignored can Williamson help himself to his conclusion to dump the use of “intution” in philosophy. Once certain distinctions are brought into focus his reductive project is thrown into relief.
Williamson’s strategy involves setting the target at intuition minimalists like Lewis (1983) and van Inwagen (1997). For them intuitions are mere opinions, beliefs or attractions to belief. There is nothing distinctive about such intuitions because even a field like science relies on some beliefs. The minimalist conception of intuitions is not distinctive of philosophical practice. If other approaches to intuitions can be show to be non-distinctive, then they can be reduced to the minimalist conception which shows that “intuitions are nothing special.”
When considering the rationalist conception of intuitions Williamson misapplies a distinction between the application of concepts and the grasp of concepts. For Williamson, application of concepts requires skills. Simply grasping concepts is insufficient because certain capacities are required to, for instance, correctly respond to the Gettier case. However, for rationalists like Bealer (1998), applying concepts to cases is part of the standard justificatory procedure. Capabilities for applying concepts to cases are not something separate or over-and-above what it means to correctly grasp concepts. Part of what it means to properly grasp a concept is having correctly applied the concepts to cases. A rationalist like Bealer would not claim that concept possession alone is sufficient, as Williamson implies. Such a reading stems from a misapplication of the application/possession distinction regarding conceptual analysis. As understood by rationalists, intuitions about cases are valuable because they clarify concepts of philosophical importance (e.g., knowledge and justice).
Williamson sharpens his attack against rationalists by looking at their interpretation of intuitions, as intellectual seemings analogous to perceptual seemings. Using the Muller-Lyer illusion as an example Williamson concedes that background information can defeat our inclination to view the two lines as incongruent. We can know how the illusion works and not be fooled. Yet, the richness of the phenomenology between intellectual and perceptual cases are not the same. Williamson argues much more appears to us perceptual when something seems the case versus intellectually when something seems the case. There is no seeming beyond our conscious inclinations to believe certain propositions. These inclinations to believe, however numerous, constitute our informational field. They are what we are justified in believing given our informational position. For example, the inclination to believe the Muller-Lyer lines are incongruent can only be reististed if we are in an informational situation that allows us to be justified in believing the lines are actually congruent, which consists in background knowledge about illusions. This brings up the distinction between situational justification and belief justification (Audi, 2003: 2-3), which seems to throw into relief Williamson’s knowledge-first epistemology.
Belief justification is the positive status that attaches to beliefs which warrants us, as rational beings, in thinking the beliefs true. Belief justification is ground on situational justification and knowledge is not possible without justified beliefs. As Audi says:
We cannot have a justified belief without being in a position to have it. Without situational justification we are not in such a position (2003: 3).
So, Williamson cannot impose knowledge from top-down onto beliefs; rather, knowledge must be built-up by having belief justification ground on situational justification. Inclinations to believe can only be stably overridden by justified beliefs. Williamson is correct that feelings or seemings are not analogous in the perceptual and intellectual cases, but in both cases the defeat of inclinations requires an epistemology in contrast with the knowledge-first approach.
There are two other distinctions I think Williamson misses. The first is the distinction is between inferential and non-inferential reasoning. Williamson simply dismisses the possibility of intuitions as non-inferential beliefs. He does this by showing that his intuition examples are inferential in nature. This reduction of intuitions to the inferential variety fails to account for the possibility of intuitions stemming from non-inferential reasoning. Bart Streumer (2007: 3) mentions the following example of non-inferential reasoning:
(Belief:) The weather forecast predicts rain.
(Belief:) The sky is full of clouds.
So, (Belief:) There are reasons to believe that it is going to rain.
It is possible to form a non-inferential belief that there is reason to believe that it is going to rain. One might even intuit that it is going to rain through such a non-inferential process. Williamson seems to discount and dismiss the possibility of non-inferential intuitions without argument.
The last distinction I’ll consider is the difference between having an intuition that P and finding it intuitive that P. Williamson uses the example of revisionary metaphysicians who deny that mountains exist as an example that shows that philosophical practice does not always involve accepting what is intuitive and denying what is not. Such metaphysicians allow the proposition “there are no mountains” into their system because the theoretical upshots outweigh the cost of having to endorse a counterintuitive proposition. Some intuitions, such as complex propositions, may fail to be intuitive. That is, it may require additional reflection to see the truth of the proposition. A proposition might not always invoke a sense of non-inferential credibility, but it may nevertheless be known to be true (see Audi 2008). That some philosophers accept counterintuitive propositions does not show that intuitions fail. It just shows that intuitiveness cannot be equated to something being an intuition.
I’ll start this post with a point about Williamson’s style. In reading Williamson I have found his philosophical style to be terse. He does not provide an abundance of signposts. This requires the reader to take extra time to see what he is arguing for and how the current argument is connected to both what has come before it and what is to come after it. You might say Williamson is famous for pure explication and analysis. At the same time, working through the density of his ideas is very rewarding. When reading Williamson closely I find myself discovering several additional layers to his ideas. This is true of most philosophy, but it finds heightened expression in Williamson as compared to, say, Robert Audi who takes pains to be clear and keep his reader tracking with his arguments. That being said, I’ll dive into section 7.1 of The Philosophy of Philosophy [a shameless signpost :-)].
The big idea in 7.1 is that the thesis of Evidence Neutrality (EN) is false. EN is an initially attractive thesis. It indicates that debate over a hypothesis does not have to be resolved prior to identifying what will be recognized as evidence in the debate. For instance, pro-life and pro-choice adherents debate the hypothesis abortion is morally wrong (h). This debate, as evidenced by the history of the debate, persists in a state of disagreement. However, if EN is true, both sides of the debate can agree that, for example, (p) the neurological-status of the embryo at week 7 is evidence for hypothesis h. Both sides can agree that p constitutes evidence without first having to resolve their differences over h. Both sides can point at the neurological capacities of the embryo at week 7 in debating h. This does not preclude the two sides interpreting the same evidence differently: a pro-life advocate might argue that at 7 weeks the embryo can feel pain, yet a pro-choice advocate might respond that the higher brain functions are not yet developed so it is unlikely that the embryo can feel pain. Both sides agree that the embryo is evidence, but they disagree how the evidence bears on the hypothesis. Despite the attractiveness of this thesis Williamson argues against it:
Having good evidence for a belief does not require being able to persuade all comers, however strange their views, that you have such good evidence. No human beliefs pass that test. Even in principle, we cannot always decide which propositions constitute evidence prior to deciding the main philosophical issue; sometimes the latter is properly implicated in the former. (2007: 212)
For Williamson EN forces one to psychologize evidence. Different people with different theoretical commitments will be committed to saying conflicting things about whether something is evidence. Evidence is not uncontentiously decidable. For Williamson all evidence is true; evidence consists only of facts, and a fact is a true proposition. The only way to agree on the facts, when two parties hold conflicting theoretical commitments, is to retreat to psychological claims (e.g., that I believe or that I am inclined to believe the Gettier proposition is true). Both sides can agree that they are inclined to believe the Gettier proposition without agreeing that the Gettier proposition is true. Such claims may be uncontentiously decidable, but they create a gap—arguing from a psychological premise (a belief) to an epistemological conclusion (a truth). Now I will discuss some concerns I have with Williamson’s argument against EN.
First, it seems Williamson has either begged the question against EN or set the bar too high for what constitutes neutral evidence. If evidence is factive, and within most domains of intellectual inquiry facts (truths) are contestable, then, ceteris paribus, everyone will not agree what constitutes evidence (what really constitute the true propositions). However, starting with a fallibilist account of evidence might accommodate the failures of EN ‘in practice’. Assuming a factive account of evidence from the start and analyzing EN against this yardstick is bound to result in the inability of EN to pass the test of ‘uncontentious decidability’. In other words, the stance Williamson takes on the nature of evidence dooms EN from the start. Regarding EN ‘in principle’, Williamson’s definition of evidence sets up problems for EN. The example Williamson uses involves two theories that entail two propositions:
- T = Every math theorem is evidence.
- T* = No math theorem is evidence.
Whether a math theorem is evidence is not uncontentiously decidable. When proponents of T debate proponents of T* proponents of T* will be committed to saying a theorem is not evidence whereas proponents of T will be committed to saying a theorem is evidence. It seems the two sides will need to resolve their theoretical differences prior to agreeing what constitutes evidence.
Evidence is decidable if there is a method for determining whether the evidence is included in a theory (i.e., a set of well-formed formulas closed under logical consequence). Evidence is ‘uncontentiously decidable’ if both sides can agree that a proposition is admitted as evidence, but whether a proposition is admitted as evidence depends on the theory under which it is admitted. This is accurate when, to borrow a term from Brian Weatherson, EN is interpreted under an ‘alethic’ reading . If EN is read as agreement whether a piece of evidence is true, then theoretical commitments will produce contentious differences in cases where theories entail propositions that are the negation of each other, as in Williamson’s example. But if EN is given an ‘apodeictic’ reading, then it must be decidable whether a piece of evidence bears on the proposition under scrutiny.
Williamson and Weatherson prefer the ‘alethic’ reading because it matches their assumption about evidence, as consisting only of true propositions. Against this, a great deal of evidence can be agreed to as relevant in the debate without having to initially persuade the other party of the truth of the evidence in relation to the hypothesis at issue. Having the bar of EN set at agreeing over the truth of propositions prevents many debates from ever getting off the ground. What is at issue may not get resolved under an ‘apodeictic’ reading of EN, but with the debate off the ground and the evidence agreed to in play the ability to make the other party accept a proposition as true depends on skill of argumentation. It depends on showing showing how one’s conclusion drawn from one’s interpretation of the evidence gets the other party something else they value. In such a case, the two parties are attempting to unseat enough propositions in the other’s theory set as to undermine each other’s theoretical commitments. This makes the dialectic more fluid and dynamic, as adjustments are made to both theory and evidence.
 Weatherson: 30-32 (http://brian.weatherson.org/ENw.pdf).
I am working on a response paper to a Phil Studies paper by Joshua Earlenbaugh and Bernard Molyneux(henceforth, E & M). Their paper is found here.
In “Intuitions are Inclinations to Believe” E & M argue intuitions do not play an evidential role. This thesis targets a particular dialectic. E & M recognize a false presupposition in the debate over whether intuitions should or should not play an evidential role. The false presupposition is that intuitions play an evidential role. Against this assumption E & M argue that intuitions do not in fact play an evidential role. They argue for this claim irrespective of whether or not intuitions should play such a role. Intuition-proponents claim intuitions are evidence, so they should play an evidential role. Intuition-opponents claim intuitions are not evidence, so they should not play an evidential role. Assumed within this dialectic is the idea that intuitions play an evidential role. Negating this assumption E & M appear to be putting forward a dialectic-changing thesis. E & M’s thesis promises to generate new lines of research, overcome an exhausted debate that seems to run in circles, and better systematize the data of why intuitions appear to be used as evidence in philosophy but actually fail to be used as such. In my paper “Intuitions are not Inclinations to Believe” I argue against E & M’s thesis at length.
In this post, I propose a truncated argument against E & M’s overall thesis, an argument which is not found in my paper. Consider:
- Intuitions cannot play an evidential role (ER) in philosophical inquiry (E & M’s 1st thesis).
- A non-evidential view explains why intuitions seem to play an ER even though they do not (E & M’s 2nd thesis).
- It is possible to argue intuitions do not play an ER irrespective of whether they should or should not play an ER (E & M assumption).
- Philosophers think intuitions should or should not play an ER in relation to the evidential status (ES) of intuitions.
- E & M argue intuitions cannot play an ER by arguing intuitions are not-E (1 & 2). 
- Thus, it is not possible to argue intuitions do not play an ER irrespective of whether they should or should not play an ER (~3).
Is this a viable argument against E & M’s position? At first glance, it seems to undercut E & M’s method of argument without getting into the details of their proposal. I address the details of their proposal in my paper.
 This highlights the importance of arguing against E & M’s thesis. If it cannot be successfully defeated, whole modes of inquiry in philosophy need to be reevaluated or abandoned as futile.
 Philosophers argue intuitions should play an ER because they’re E or intuitions should not play and ER because they’re not-E.
 E & M must argue intuitions are not playing an ER and they’re not-E. If they said intuitions are not-ER and did not argue intuitions are not-E their position could be the inert view (not-ER, but E). This is a view E & M want to avoid. The move they do make takes a stand on the epistemic status of intuitions, namely, they have a negative ES (they’re not-E).