The following papers have been accepted for presentation at AAP 2013. If you've just submitted an abstract, it may take a few days to appear.
|Name: Dr Alan Hajek|
|Institution: Australian National University|
|Title: Philosophical Heuristics II|
|Abstract: They say that anyone of average talent can become a strong chess player by learning and internalizing certain chess heuristics—‘castle early', 'avoid isolated pawns', and so on. Analogously, philosophy has a wealth of heuristics—philosophical heuristics—although they have not been nearly so well documented and studied. Sometimes they draw attention to a problem with a philosophical position—e.g. it has to make a choice that seems arbitrary. Sometimes they provide ways of solving a problem—e.g. there are many techniques for handling arbitrariness. Sometimes they suggest ways of replacing a hard problem with an easier one, with strategies for approaching the latter—e.g. replacing intensional notions with extensional surrogates, and then perhaps diagramming the latter. Sometimes they appeal to fertile modes of thinking more generally—e.g. continuity reasoning, and ‘proves too much’ reasoning. Sometimes they provide templates for positive arguments—e.g. techniques for showing that something is possible. Philosophers have been becoming increasingly self-conscious of their methodology, yet I believe that the study of such heuristics has been surprisingly neglected. At an AAP roughly 15 years ago I gave the first installment of my long-term project of identifying and evaluating various philosophical heuristics, illustrating them with numerous examples from the philosophical literature. This is my next installment.|
|Keywords: Heuristics, philosophical methodology|