I’ve been reading Williamson’s new book (which is awesome!), and I just got to chapter 7, where he’s wondering what “intuitions” are supposed to be. He mentions Bealer’s suggestion that they’re intellectual seemings, and here’s what he says about Bealer’s favorite example, Naive Comprehension (i.e., that every predicate has a set as its extension):
“For myself, I am aware of no intellectual seeming beyond my conscious inclination to believe Naive Comprehension, which I resist because I know better.” (p.217)
I found this very strange. Yes, Naive Comprehension seems true to me, even though I know full well that it’s inconsistent -- just as the Muller-Lyer arrows seem to be different lengths, even though I know full well that they aren’t. But I have no inclination whatsoever to believe Naive Comprehension, conscious or otherwise. I mean, I used to sometimes feel inclined to believe it, even after I learned about Russell’s paradox, because (for instance) I wouldn’t recognize it right away as the axiom that generates Russell's paradox. But now I’m always able to recognize it right away, and I have no inclination to believe it.
Likewise when I’m looking at the Muller-Lyer arrows. I’m not at all inclined to believe that they’re the same length. I know the trick. Or consider my friend Enrico, who has the zombie intuition, but said that I should stab him if he ever gives up materialism (true story, he made me promise). I think it’s safe to assume that he has no inclination whatsoever to believe that zombies are possible, even when it seems to him that they are possible.
And anyway, this is a very strange thing for Williamson of all people to say. As those of you who’ve read chapter 4 know, his all-purpose counterexample to epistemic characterizations of analyticity is the stubborn philosopher with funny views about logic who has no disposition whatsoever (even a little! even subconsciously!) to assent to the sentence 'every vixen is a vixen'. Surely if this guy’s stubborn enough to have no disposition to assent to 'every vixen is a vixen', I’m stubborn enough to have no inclination to believe Naive Comprehension!