An interesting essay appeared online a couple days ago. The main thrust of the essay, Signaling bias in philosophical intuition by Katja Grace, is nicely stated in its first paragraph:
Intuitions are a major source of evidence in philosophy. Intuitions are also a significant source of evidence about the person having the intuitions. In most situations where onlookers are likely to read something into a person’s behavior, people adjust their behavior to look better. (Emphasis added)
The essay makes many good points about how we judge, or interpret, philosophers. For example, “…people treat philosophical intuitions as evidence about personality traits.” And “People are enthusiastic to show off their better looking intuitions. They identify with some intuitions and take pleasure in holding them.”
If this is true of professional philosophers who, we can assume, are more careful about their thoughts and their expression than most people, how much more is it true for non-philosophers?
Yesterday I wrote on this site:
Normal people live in vague worlds where they grope toward each other like ghosts in the fog. How can we understand each other or ourselves if we do not pay attention to the small signals that are, arguably, the most important units of interpersonal communication? (Source)
I felt a camaraderie with Grace for I believe that virtually all people, not just philosophers, “are enthusiastic to show off their better looking” sides. I also strongly believe that as I do that toward you and you toward me, our authentic beings are lost in the fluff.
FIML practice has been designed to allow partners to send signals to each other that are profoundly more authentic than the simplistic “better looking” ones we normally exchange. FIML does this by providing a method for partners to examine in real time the small signals that are the “psychological morphemes” of interpersonal communication.
Please take a moment to read Grace’s essay, which is far more nuanced than what I have suggested.