Tuesday, May 8, 2012

[PHI 3000] Intuition takes me there

The previous post about mistrust of science raises another interesting question.

In this clip, Noelle Nikpour claims that people would intuitively realize that "some of the numbers that the scientists are putting out are not right."

This seems like an odd claim to make. It seems unreasonable to deny a scientific claim because it is counter-intuitive. For example, entanglement is a counter-intuitive quantum effect. But no one would claim that it is not real just because it is counter-intuitive.

So, why is it that, unlike in science, being counter-intuitive seems to always count against a philosophical claim? For example, the intuition that it would be morally permissible to flip the switch but morally impermissible to push the fat man off the bridge in the Trolley Problem is supposed to count against utilitarianism. But why? Why not say, "If our intuitions clash with the theory, then so much the worse for our intuitions," just as we often say in science?

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