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Intuitions, Objectivity, and Analysis

Dr. Henry Jackman

Thursday, December 02, 2010, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

York University, Department of Philosophy

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There has been a long tradition of philosophers engaging in a more-or-less armchair analysis of the nature of such topics as knowledge, justice, freedom and the like.  For quite a while there seemed to be a consensus that this process could be understood as a type of "conceptual analysis" and that the inputs to such analysis were the "intuitions" that philosophers had relating to these perennial topics. This consensus has, to put it mildly, come under a lot of pressure over the last few decades, and many of the underlying assumptions about what concepts were, what intuitions could be and why the process of analyzing our concepts would have any point have come to seem increasingly suspect.  That said, this paper will argue that the notion(s) of concepts that has replaced the more classical picture leave room for an equally altered conception of philosophical analysis, but still a conception that allows us to redescribe, rather than simply reject, much of the earlier work that fell under the rubric of analysis.

Dr. Henry Jackman