The famous Wason Selection Task runs like this: You are to imagine four cards, each with a number on one side and a letter on the other side. Of two cards, you see only the letter side and you don't know what's on the number side. Of the other two cards, you see only the number side and don't know what's on the letter side. Imagine the four cards laid out as follows:
Here's the question: What card or cards do you need to turn over to test the rule "If there is a K on one side there is a 2 on the other", to see if it is violated? The large majority of undergraduates (and of almost every group tested) gets this question wrong. One common answer: the K and the 2. The correct answer is the K and the 7.
That K and 7 is the correct answer is much more intuitively evident when we put the task in a context of social cognition or cheating detection rather than in an abstract context. Imagine that instead of numbers and letters the cards featured beverages and ages and the rule in question was "If there is an alcoholic beverage on one side, there is an age of 21 or greater on the other". Then the cards would look like this: sprite, gin, 32 years old, 17 years old. The large majority of people will correctly say that to check for violations of the rule you need to turn over the gin card and the 17-year-old card. But that's exactly the same logical structure as the much more difficult letter-number task.
Psychologists have discussed at length the cognitive mechanisms and what makes some versions of the task easier than others, but the lesson I want to draw is metaphilosophical: We humans stink at abstract thought. Logically speaking, the Wason selection task is incredibly simple. But still it's hard, even for well educated people -- and even logic teachers familiar with the task need to stop and think a minute, slow down to get it right; they don't find it intuitive. Compare this to how intuitively we negotiate the immense complexities of language and visual perception.
Nor is it just the Wason selection task we are horribly bad at, but all kinds of abstract reasoning. I used to write questions for the Law School Admissions Test. One formula I had for a difficult question was just a question with several options expressed in ordinary language with a conditional and a negation and no intuitive support. The poor victim of one of my questions would first read a paragraph about the economics of Peru (for example). Then I would ask which of the following must be true if everything in the paragraph is true: (a.) Unless crop subsidies are increased, the exchange rate will decline, (b.) The exchange rate will rise only if crop subsidies are not decreased, (c.) If crop subsidies are decreased, the exchange rate will not rise, etc. My own mind would melt trying to figure out which of the options is correct (or whether, even, some might be equivalent), and all we're talking about is a very simple conditional and negation! So yes, you have me to blame for your less-than-perfect LSAT score if you took the exam in the late 1990s. Sorry!
Okay, now consider... Hegel. Or even something as structurally simple as the Sleeping Beauty Problem.
Most of our philosophical ambitions are far beyond ordinary human cognitive capacity. Our philosophical opinions are thus much more likely to be driven by sociological and psychological factors that have little to do with the real merit of the arguments for and against. This partly explains why we make so little philosophical progress over the centuries. If we are succeeded by a species (biological or robotic) with greater cognitive capacities, a species that finds the Wason selection task and abstractly combining conditionals and negations to be intuitively simple, they will laugh at our struggles with Sleeping Beauty, with Kant's Transcendental Deduction, with paradoxes of self-reference, etc., in the same way that we, once we are fully briefed and armed on the Wason Selection Task, are tempted to (but shouldn't) laugh at all the undergraduates who fail it.