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Variations in ethical intuitions

In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals. pp. 368-388 (2009)

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  1. Book Review of Alexander, Joshua. Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction.David J. Frost - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):903-917.
  • Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics.George Matthews & Christina Hendricks (eds.) - 2019 - The Rebus Community.
    This is an open-access textbook designed for introduction to philosophy courses that contain a section on ethics, or for introductory courses in moral theory. In this edited work, chapter authors explore both historical and contemporary approaches to understanding and justifying moral and ethical norms. The chapters cover a wide range of topics, including moral relativism, the relationship between ethics and religion, virtue ethics in the Western and Eastern traditions, the question of self-interest and ethics, utilitarianism, Kantian deontological ethics, and recent (...)
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  • Alexander, Joshua. Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction: Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2012. 154pp. Paperback, $22.95, ISBN 978–0745649184.David J. Frost - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):903-917.
  • Are Moral Intuitions Intellectual Perceptions?Dario Cecchini - 2022 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 13 (1):31-40.
    This paper discusses an influential view of moral intuition, according to which moral intuition is a kind of intellectual perception. The core claim of this quasi-perceptualist theory is that intuitions are like perceptual experiences in presenting propositions as true. In this work, it is argued that quasi-perceptualism is explanatorily superfluous in the moral domain: there is no need to postulate a sui generis quasi-perceptual mental state to account for moral intuition since rival theories can explain the salient mental features of (...)
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  • How Not to Test for Philosophical Expertise.Regina A. Rini - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):431-452.
    Recent empirical work appears to suggest that the moral intuitions of professional philosophers are just as vulnerable to distorting psychological factors as are those of ordinary people. This paper assesses these recent tests of the ‘expertise defense’ of philosophical intuition. I argue that the use of familiar cases and principles constitutes a methodological problem. Since these items are familiar to philosophers, but not ordinary people, the two subject groups do not confront identical cognitive tasks. Reflection on this point shows that (...)
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  • Moral Intuition, Strength, and Metacognition.Dario Cecchini - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-25.
    Moral intuitions are generally understood as automatic strong responses to moral facts. In this paper, I offer a metacognitive account according to which the strength of moral intuitions denotes the level of confidence of a subject. Confidence is a metacognitive appraisal of the fluency with which a subject processes information from a morally salient stimulus. I show that this account is supported by some empirical evidence, explains the main features of moral intuition, and is preferable to emotional or quasi-perceptual views (...)
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  • Testing for the Phenomenal: Intuition, Metacognition, and Philosophical Methodology.Miguel Egler - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):48-66.
    Recent empirical studies raise methodological concerns about the use of intuitions in philosophy. According to one prominent line of reply, these concerns are unwarranted since the empirical studies motivating them do not control for the putatively characteristic phenomenology of intuitions. This paper makes use of research on metacognitive states that have precisely this phenomenology to argue that the above reply fails. Furthermore, it shows that empirical findings about these metacognitive states can help philosophers make better informed assessments of their warrant (...)
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  • Experimental Attacks on Intuitions and Answers.John Bengson - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):495-532.
  • Expecting Moral Philosophers to Be Reliable.James Andow - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (2):205-220.
    Are philosophers’ intuitions more reliable than philosophical novices’? Are we entitled to assume the superiority of philosophers’ intuitions just as we assume that experts in other domains have more reliable intuitions than novices? Ryberg raises some doubts and his arguments promise to undermine the expertise defence of intuition-use in philosophy once and for all. In this paper, I raise a number of objections to these arguments. I argue that philosophers receive sufficient feedback about the quality of their intuitions and that (...)
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  • Moral Judgments, Gender, and Antisocial Preferences: An Experimental Study.Juergen Bracht & Adam Zylbersztejn - 2018 - Theory and Decision 85 (3-4):389-406.
    We study questionnaire responses to situations in which sacrificing one life may save many other lives. We demonstrate gender differences in moral judgments: males are more supportive of the sacrifice than females. We investigate a source of the endorsement of the sacrifice: antisocial preferences. First, we measure individual proneness to spiteful behavior, using an experimental game with monetary stakes. We demonstrate that spitefulness can be sizable—a fifth of our participants behave spitefully—but it is not associated with gender. Second, we find (...)
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  • Intuition as a Capacity for a Priori Knowledge.Henry W. Pickford - 2019 - Philosophical Investigations 13 (28):147-169.
    This article lays the groundwork for a defense of rational intuitions by first arguing against a prevalent view according to which intuition is a distinctive psychological state, an “intellectual seeming” that p, that then constitutes evidence that p. An alternative account is then offered, according to which an intuition that p constitutes non-inferential a priori knowledge that p in virtue of the concepts exercised in judging that p. This account of rational intuition as the exercise of conceptual capacities in a (...)
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  • Evolutionary Ethics.Michael Klenk - 2019 - Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics.
    This chapter first introduces naturalistic approaches to ethics more generally and distinguishes methodological ethical naturalism (the focus of this chapter), from metaphysical ethical naturalism. The second part then discusses evolutionary ethics as a specific variant of methodological ethical naturalism. After introducing the concepts of evolutionary theory that are relevant for evolutionary ethics, I will sketch the history of evolutionary ethics, which offers an interesting lesson about why it became a controversial topic, and then focus on four central questions about ethics (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy and the Underrepresentation of Women.Carrie Figdor & Matt L. Drabek - 2016 - In W. Buckwalter & J. Sytsma (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 590-602.
    This paper summarizes recent and ongoing experimental work regarding the reality, nature, effects, and causes of the underrepresentation of women in academic philosophy. We first present empirical data on several aspects of underrepresentation, and then consider various reasons why this gender imbalance is problematic. We then turn to the published and preliminary results of empirical work aimed at identifying factors that might explain it.
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  • Who's Afraid of Trolleys?Antti Kauppinen - 2019 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Lontoo, Yhdistynyt kuningaskunta:
    Recent empirical studies of philosophers by Eric Schwitzgebel and others have seriously called into question whether professional ethicists have any useful expertise with thought experiments, given that their intuitions appear to be no more reliable than those of lay subjects. Drawing on such results, sceptics like Edouard Machery argue that normative ethics as it is currently practiced is deeply problematic. In this paper, I present two main arguments in defense of the standard methodology of normative ethics. First, there is strong (...)
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  • Are Philosophers Expert Intuiters?Jonathan M. Weinberg, Chad Gonnerman, Cameron Buckner & Joshua Alexander - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):331-355.
    Recent experimental philosophy arguments have raised trouble for philosophers' reliance on armchair intuitions. One popular line of response has been the expertise defense: philosophers are highly-trained experts, whereas the subjects in the experimental philosophy studies have generally been ordinary undergraduates, and so there's no reason to think philosophers will make the same mistakes. But this deploys a substantive empirical claim, that philosophers' training indeed inculcates sufficient protection from such mistakes. We canvass the psychological literature on expertise, which indicates that people (...)
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  • Women and Deviance in Philosophy.Helen Beebee - 2013 - In K. Hutchison & F. Jenkins (eds.), Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change? Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 61--80.
  • On Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions: Failure of Replication.Hamid Seyedsayamdost - 2015 - Episteme 12 (1):95-116.
    In one of the earlier influential papers in the field of experimental philosophy titled Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions published in 2001, Jonathan M. Weinberg, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich reported that respondents answered Gettier type questions differently depending on their ethnic background as well as socioeconomic status. There is currently a debate going on, on the significance of the results of Weinberg et al. (2001) and its implications for philosophical methodology in general and epistemology in specific. Despite the debates, however, (...)
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  • Reproducibility of Empirical Findings: Experiments in Philosophy and Beyond.Hamid Seyedsayamdost - unknown
    The field of experimental philosophy has received considerable attention, essentially for producing results that seem highly counter-intuitive and at the same time question some of the fundamental methods used in philosophy. A substantial part of this attention has focused on the role of intuitions in philosophical methodology. One of the major contributions of experimental philosophy on this topic has been concrete evidence in support of intuitional diversity; the idea that intuitions vary systematically depending on variables such as ethnicity, socioeconomic background, (...)
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  • A Feminist Defense of Moderate Moral Intuitionism.Bill J. C. Cameron - unknown
    The three integrated articles of this dissertation are concerned with the epistemic status of moral intuitions. The first article argues in favour of moderate moral intuitionism, the view that while any successful moral epistemology must be intuitionist to at least some extent, it must also take intuitions to be fallible. This is accomplished by synthesizing work by Robert Audi and George Bealer into a view of moral intuitions which is capable of overcoming some major contemporary objections against intuitionism, particularly from (...)
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  • Reliable but Not Home Free? What Framing Effects Mean for Moral Intuitions.James Andow - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (6):904-911.
    Various studies show moral intuitions to be susceptible to framing effects. Many have argued that this susceptibility is a sign of unreliability and that this poses a methodological challenge for moral philosophy. Recently, doubt has been cast on this idea. It has been argued that extant evidence of framing effects does not show that moral intuitions have an unreliability problem. I argue that, even if the extant evidence suggests that moral intuitions are fairly stable with respect to what intuitions we (...)
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  • Epistemic Intuitions in Fake-Barn Thought Experiments.David Colaço, Wesley Buckwalter, Stephen Stich & Edouard Machery - 2014 - Episteme 11 (2):199-212.
    In epistemology, fake-barn thought experiments are often taken to be intuitively clear cases in which a justified true belief does not qualify as knowledge. We report a study designed to determine whether non-philosophers share this intuition. The data suggest that while participants are less inclined to attribute knowledge in fake-barn cases than in unproblematic cases of knowledge, they nonetheless do attribute knowledge to protagonists in fake-barn cases. Moreover, the intuition that fake-barn cases do count as knowledge is negatively correlated with (...)
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  • A Soft Defense of a Utilitarian Principle of Criminalization.Thomas Søbirk Petersen - 2020 - Res Publica 26 (1):123-141.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that the utilitarian principle of criminalization is sounder than its poor reputation suggests. The paper begins by describing three possible answers to the research question: To what extent should the consequences of criminalization matter morally in a theory of criminalization? Hereafter I explain why I shall discuss only two of these answers. Then follows a detailed and critical specification of UPC. Furthermore, I will argue why criticisms of UPC made by philosophers such (...)
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  • Tracking Instability in Our Philosophical Judgments: Is It Intuitive?Jennifer Wright - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (4):485-501.
    Skepticism about the epistemic value of intuition in theoretical and philosophical inquiry fueled by the empirical discovery of irrational bias (e.g., the order effect) in people's judgments has recently been challenged by research suggesting that people can introspectively track intuitional instability. The two studies reported here build upon this, the first by demonstrating that people are able to introspectively track instability that was experimentally induced by introducing conflicting expert opinion about certain cases, and the second by demonstrating that it was (...)
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  • On Intuitional Stability: The Clear, the Strong, and the Paradigmatic.Jennifer Cole Wright - 2010 - Cognition 115 (3):491-503.
    Skepticism about the epistemic value of intuition in theoretical and philosophical inquiry has recently been bolstered by empirical research suggesting that people’s concrete-case intuitions are vulnerable to irrational biases (e.g., the order effect). What is more, skeptics argue that we have no way to ‘‘calibrate” our intuitions against these biases and no way of anticipating intuitional instability. This paper challenges the skeptical position, introducing data from two studies that suggest not only that people’s concrete-case intuitions are often stable, but also (...)
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