As Boys Pursue the Rainbow. Whewell’s Independent Morality vs. Sidgwick’s Dogmatic Intuitionism

In Placido Bucolo, Roger Crisp & Bart Schultz (eds.), Proceedings of the Second World Congress on Henry Sidgwick. Ethics, Psychics, Politics. Catania, Italy: CUECM. pp. 146-235 (2011)
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Abstract

I discuss Whewell’s philosophy of morality, as opposed to systematic morality, not unlike Kant’s distinction between a pure and an empirical moral philosophy. Whewell worked out a systematization of traditional normative ethics as a first step before its rational justification; he believed that the point in the philosophy of morality is justifying a few rational truths about the structure of morality such as to rule hedonism, eudemonism, and consequentialism; yet a system of positive morality cannot be derived solely from such rational truths but requires consideration of the ongoing dialectics between idea and fact in historically given moralities. Whewell’s intuitionism turns out to be both more similar to Kantian ethics and more different from Sidgwick’s idea of intuitionism.

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Sixty Years of Philosophy in a Life.J. B. Schneewind - 2009 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 83 (2):79 - 95.

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