Over the course of the last year, I have written extensively about intuitions, thought experiments, and expertise.
In "Experimental Philosophy of Language," a chapter co-written with Steve Stich for a Companion on the philosophy of language, I review the reasons for why a growing number of syntactians distrust the appeal to experts' intuitions, and favor the experimental study of linguistic intuitions. We argue that these reasons carry over to the linguistic intuitions philosophers of language have appealed to.
In "Expertise and Intuitions about Reference," forthcoming in Theoria (as part of an exchange with Michael Devitt), I provide some tentative evidence for the claim that expertise does not improve the reliability of experts' intuitions about reference.
In "Thought Experiments and Philosophical Knowledge," forthcoming in Metaphilosophy (together with some papers by Papineau, Williamson, etc.), I argue that a plausible view about intuitions (defended, e.g., by Williamson) leads to some form of skepticism about many, perhaps most, intuitions elicited by thought experiments (the argument differs from the one put forward by Jonathan Weinberg) I also say a few words about expertise.
There are several positions that emerge from this body of work.
I reject the idea that philosophical expertise improves the reliability of intuitions in general. Whether or not philosophical expertise improves their reliability, and in which area of philosophy it does, is an empirical question, and available evidence casts doubts on an improvement of intuitions in ethics and philosophy of language.
Furthermore, I hold that if intuitions are to play a role in some philosophical argument, they should be surveyed experimentally.
Finally, I argue that we have reasons to doubt that the intuitions elicited by many thought experiments are reliable, and this leads me to question whether that most of these intuitions can really justify the premises of philosophical arguments.
Comments on any of these papers would be welcome.