Volume 13, Issue 1, 2013
An Uncomfortable Armchair
Tim Williamson Against Apriorism
The paper addresses Williamson’s original and challenging proposal for understanding of thought experiments (TEs). First, it puts it on the map of positions, describing it as “ordinarism”, the view that sees thinker’s reaction to the thought-experimental question as nothing extraordinary, let alone mysterious. Then, it passes to Williamson’s proposal to use counterfactuals in order to understand TEs, agrees with the main idea, but proposes a more structured view of capacities or “competences” active in the understanding and answering. Intuitions are important, and they are voice of competencies, at least in the good case. Finally, on the normative level, it argues for the view of justification as being structured, containing both a priori and a posteriori elements.