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The 10th "philosophy and curiosity" luncheon was held in PKU


On 27th, the 10th “Philosophy & Curiosity” lunch talk was held at B114, building 2, Lee Shau-kee Humanities, PKU. The luncheon speaker was new assistant professor Sebastian Sunday, who presented an inspiring talk on the theme of Intuitive Skill.


Intuition is fundamental to human cognition. The ubiquity of the intuition make it a research-worthy topic, as it enables some of the best and worst in humans. Sebastian's lecture content had three parts: what is intuitive skill, the philosophy for life, and becoming a great philosopher.


Sebastian's report focused on intuition as a kind of epistemic method and introduced three elements of intuitive ability, which also known as the principle of epistemic priority, that a subject has a sufficiently-high aggregate level of ability at getting things right intuitively, not getting things wrong intuitively, and sceptical ability. To improve the first stage, one need practice or study. Psychology must involve to elevate the second, while sceptical ability can only be advanced with philosophy.


Sebastian's report quoted Ludwig Wittgenstein that “People who have never carried out an investigation of a philosophical sort … are not equipped with the right optical instruments for that sort of investigation or scrutiny.”(Manuscript, translated in Culture and Value, 33–4) Sebastian argued that sceptical skill in philosophy, though difficult to acquire, was ideally intuitive (meta-intuition) and plausibly, a mark of a great philosopher.