Philosophy Colloquium
Georges Rey
University of Maryland
The Possibility of a Naturalistic Cartesianism Regarding Intuitions and Introspection

Introspection and certain sorts of “intuitionsâ€ù have been regarded by “Cartesiansâ€ù as a peculiarly reliable source of evidence in linguistics, psychology and traditional philosophy. This reliability has been called into question by a number of different “anti-Cartesiansâ€ù in the last decade, specifically by Michael Devitt with regard to linguistic intuitions, and Peter Carruthers with regard to introspection. I defend here the possibility of a moderate Cartesianism about both phenomena, more critical than the traditional approach, and open to empirical confirmation in a way that anti- Cartesians have not sufficiently appreciated. Briefly: our intuitions and introspections are reliable insofar as they are the casual consequence of internal representations that are produced by a specific competence whose properties they are then reasonably taken to reflect.
With commentary by Paul Pietroski.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Skinner 1115