Thought-experiment intuitions and truth in fiction

Jonathan Ichikawa, Benjamin Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


What sorts of things are the intuitions generated via thought experiment? Timothy Williamson has responded to naturalistic skeptics by arguing that thought-experiment intuitions are judgments of ordinary counterfactuals. On this view, the intuition is naturalistically innocuous, but it has a contingent content and could be known at best a posteriori. We suggest an alternative to Williamson's account, according to which we apprehend thought-experiment intuitions through our grasp on truth in fiction. On our view, intuitions like the Gettier intuition are necessarily true and knowable a priori. Our view, like Williamson's, avoids naturalistic skepticism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-246
Number of pages26
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number2
Early online date7 Nov 2007
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


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