I have read that one common attack against traditional analysis is about the fact that people do not always share their intuitions about the application of a given concept. For example, two individuals can very well disagree about wether Gettier cases are cases of knowledge or not. This type of concerns led to the development of experimental philosophy, and experimental philosophers in turn collected much data illustrating cases of people disagreeing on the application of concepts.

I can understand without difficulty why such facts seem problematic for classical conceptual analysis (if intuitions are not shared, then they cannot play the role they ought to according to conceptual analysts, namely, discriminate between correct and incorrect analysis of a given concept). However, what I can hardly conceive is that conceptual analysts did not notice this. According to the SEP (entry "concepts"), "Anyone who teaches philosophy certainly knows that half the time students have the “wrong intuitions”". So certainly, Frege, Moore, Austin, Ryle, etc., knew that intuitions are rarely shared. And here is my question: how did these philosophers deal with such objections to conceptual analysis ? I did not find any accessible material dealing with this question.

Thank you very much in advance.

  • Frege:"To those who feel inclined to criticize my definitions as unnatural, I would suggest that the point here is not whether they are natural but whether they go to the root of the matter", "The effect of the logical analysis of which we spoke will then be precisely this – to articulate the sense clearly". Wittgenstein and Quine took it to the logical conclusion, ambiguous and erratic natural language with its "intuitions" ought to be replaced with cleaned up scientific language with disambiguated and precise concepts. Analysis is meant to be normative, not descriptive. – Conifold Oct 17 '20 at 18:22

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