Philosophers as Intuitive Lawyers

in Contemporary Pragmatism
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


Philosophers have traditionally described themselves as “intuitive scientists”: people seeking the most justified theories about distinctive aspects of the world. Relying on insights from philosophers as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Williams James, I argue that philosophers should be described instead as “intuitive lawyers” who defend a point of view largely by appealing to non-cognitive reasons.



Baggini Julian . 2004. “Philosophy as Judgment.” In What Philosophy Is, ed. Carel Havi and Gamez David , 141154. London and New York: Continuum.

Baghramian Maria . 2004. Relativism. London and New York: Routledge.

Baumeister Roy , and Newman Leonard . 1994. “Self-Regulation of Cognitive Inference and Decision Processes.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 20(3): 319.

Berkeley George . 2003. A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. New York: Dover.

Bird Alexander . 2013. “Thomas Kuhn.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2013 Edition), ed. Zalta Edward .

Blackburn Simon . 1999. Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bunge Mario . 1983. Epistemology & Methodology I: Exploring the World. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Chalmers Alan . 2009. The Scientist’s Atom and the Philosopher’s Stone: How Science Succeeded and Philosophy Failed to Gain Knowledge of Atoms. Dordrecht: Springer.

Coleridge Samuel . 1917. The Table Talk and Omniana. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cortens David . 2002. “Dividing the World into Objects.” In Realism and Antirealism, ed. Alston William , 4156. Ithaca, n.y.: Cornell University Press.

Crisp Richard and Turner Rhiannon . 2014. Essential Social Psychology. London: Sage.

Duhem Pierre . 1954. The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Elgin Catherine . 2010. “Persistent Disagreement.” in Disagreement , eds. Feldman Richard and Warfield Ted , 5368. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Epicurus . 1993. The Essential Epicurus: Letters, Principal Doctrines, Vatican Sayings, and Fragments. Buffalo, n.y.: Prometheus Books.

Fumerton Richard . 2010. “You Can’t Trust a Philosopher.” in Disagreement, eds. Feldman Richard and Warfield Ted , 91110. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Haidt Jonathan . 2001. “The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist Approach to Moral Judgment.” Psychological Review 108(4): 814834.

Hamilton Lee . 1980. “Intuitive Psychologist or Intuitive Lawyer? Alternative Models of the Attribution Process.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39(5) 767772.

Heider Fritz . 1958. The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations. New York: Wiley.

Hempel Carl . 1964. “Explanation in Science and History.” In Frontiers of Science and Philosophy, ed. Colodny Robert , 919. Pittsburgh, Penn.: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Hewstone Miles . 1990. “The ‘Ultimate Attribution Error’? A Review of the Literature on Intergroup Causal Attribution.” European Journal of Social Psychology 20(4): 311335.

Hume David . 2007. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and Other Writings. Cambridge, uk: Cambridge University Press.

James William . 1975. Pragmatism . Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Kagan Jerome . 1984. The Nature of the Child . New York: Basic Books.

Kelly George . 1955. The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York: W.W. Norton.

Kitcher Philip . 1984. The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge . Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Landau Martin . 1972. “Comment: On Objectivity.” American Political Science Review 66: 846856.

Marcum James . 2005. Thomas Kuhn’s Revolution: An Historical Philosophy of Science. London: Continuum.

Moore G.E. 1922. “The Nature of Moral Philosophy.” In Philosophical Studies, 310339. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Tubner.

Olson James , and Ross Michael . 1988. “False Feedback about Placebo Effectiveness: Consequences for the Misattribution of Speech Anxiety.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 24(4): 275291.

Pap Arthur . 1946. “Determinism and Moral Responsibility.” Journal of Philosophy 43: 318327.

Plantinga Alvin . 1983. “Reason and Belief in God.” In Faith and Rationality. Reason and Belief in God, eds. Plantinga Alvin and Wolterstorff Nicholas , 1693. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.

Popper Karl . 1996a. “Knowledge and the Shaping of Reality: the Search of a Better World.” In Search of a Better World: Lectures and Essays from Thirty Years, 329. London and New York: Routledge.

Popper Karl . 1996b. “Toleration and Intellectual Responsibility (Stolen from Xenophanes and from Voltaire.” In Search of a Better World: Lectures and Essays from Thirty Years, 188203. London and New York: Routledge.

Rosenberg Jay . 1996. The Practice of Philosophy. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Russell Bertrand . 1941. Let the People Think . London: Watts & Company.

Russell Bertrand . 1959. My Philosophical Development. London: Allen & Unwin.

Searle John . 1993. “Rationality and Realism, What is at Stake?” Daedalus 122(4): 5583.

Shweder Richard , and Haidt Jonathan . 1993. “The Future of Moral Psychology: Truth, Intuition, and the Pluralist Way.” Psychological Science 4: 360365.

Richard Swinburne . 2001. “Philosophical Theism.” In Philosophy of Religion in the 21st Century, eds. Phillips Dewie and Tessin Timothy , 320. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Taber Charles , Lodge Milton , and Glathar Jill . 2001. “The Motivated Construction of Political Judgments.” In Citizens and Politics, ed. Kuklinski James , 198226. Cambridge, uk: Cambridge University Press.

Tetlock Philip . 1991. “An Alternative Metaphor in the Study of Judgment and Choice: People as Politicians.” Theory and Psychology 1: 451475.

Toulmin Stephen . 1953. The Philosophy of Science . London: Hutchinson’s University Library.

Urmson James . 1991. “Epicurus.” In The Concise Encyclopedia of Western Philosophy and Philosophers, eds. Urmson James and Rée Jonathan , 126127. London: Routledge.

Van Inwagen Peter . 1996. “It Is Wrong, Everywhere, Always, for Anyone, to Believe Anything upon Insufficient Evidence.” In Faith, Freedom and Rationality, eds. Jordan Jeff and Howard-Snyder Daniel , 137154. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield.

Waismann Friedrich . 1968. How I See Philosophy. London: Macmillan.

Wegener Duane , and Petty Richard . 1998. “The Naïve Scientist Revisited: Naïve Theories and Social Judgments.” Social Cognition 16(1): 17.

White Richard . 1988. “Hume’s Dialogues and the Comedy of Religion.” Hume Studies 14(2) 390407.

Wilson James . 1993. The Moral Sense . New York: Free Press.

Wittgenstein Ludwig . 1989. Wittgenstein’s Lectures on the Foundations of Mathematics: Cambridge, 1939, ed. Diamond Cora . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 33 33 8
Full Text Views 5 5 3
PDF Downloads 1 1 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0