Trope analysis and folk intuitions

Rennick, S. (2021) Trope analysis and folk intuitions. Synthese, (doi: 10.1007/s11229-020-03013-3) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

This paper outlines a new method for identifying folk intuitions to complement armchair intuiting and experimental philosophy (X-Phi), and thereby enrich the philosopher’s toolkit. This new approach—trope analysis—depends not on what people report their intuitions to be but rather on what they have made and engaged with; I propose that tropes in fiction (‘you can’t change the past’, ‘a foreknown future isn’t free’ and so forth) reveal which theories, concepts and ideas we find intuitive, repeatedly and en masse. Imagination plays a dual role in both existing methods and this new approach: it enables us to create the scenarios that elicit our intuitions, and also to mentally represent them. The method I propose allows us to leverage the imagination of the many rather than the few on both counts—scenarios are both created and consumed by the folk themselves.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rennick, Dr Steph
Authors: Rennick, S.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Synthese
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0039-7857
ISSN (Online):1573-0964
Published Online:11 January 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author
First Published:First published in Synthese 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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