Stockholm Colloquium in Philosophy: Joachim Horvath (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)


Date: Thursday 28 September 2023

Time: 16.00 – 17.45

Location: D289

The Mischaracterization Objection and Its Consequences


According to the mischaracterization objection mainly developed by Deutsch and Cappelen, philosophers do not appeal to intuitions as evidence for judgments about thought experiment cases, but rather argue for their case judgments. Although Deutsch and Cappelen present numerous case studies in support of this claim, the reception of the mischaracterization objection has been surprisingly negative so far.

To challenge this consensus, I will first clarify and elaborate the mischaracterization objection, explain its metaphilosophical significance, and then argue that extant replies to it largely fail. The mischaracterization objection is thus much stronger than it is widely assumed, with potentially far-reaching metaphilosophical consequences for the experimental philosophy challenge and the philosophical relevance of intuitions about hypothetical cases.

Still, I will caution against mischaracterization-extremism and intuition-extremism alike. This raises novel and underexplored metaphilosophical questions and shifts methodological work on argumentation to the foreground. Finally, I will briefly argue for the normative claim that we should always primarily argue for our case judgments.