Intuition Pumps

Intuition pumps are thought experiments such as Plato’s cave, Hobbes’ state of nature, and Descartes’ evil demon. These are concepts or theories that pique one’s imagination and/or interest but do not necessarily present a strong logical argument. This term was coined by Daniel Clement Dennett III, an American philosopher, cognitive scientist, and writer. It was first intended to challenge John Searle’s “Chinese Room”, a thought experiment which argues that computers can indeed think. Dennett furthered that intuition pumps are more about engendering stories which are useful in eliciting intuitions but may be misused by generating false conclusions.

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