Intuitions in moral inquiry

In David Copp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press. pp. 595--623 (2006)
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Abstract

This chapter begins with a weak understanding of intuitions as beliefs that do not result from more familiar sources, but that the person currently holds simply because the proposition believed seems true to the person upon due consideration. Nearly all moral inquiry makes significant use of moral intuitions. Reflective equilibrium is perhaps the most sophisticated intuitionistic approach to moral inquiry. It modifies the usual understanding of reflective equilibrium by arguing that inquirers must not merely mold their moral intuitions into a coherent system via a process of mutual adjustment, but must also strive to enhance their competence at making moral judgments. It then considers and rejects an argument for the reliability of moral intuitions that takes them to provide evidence regarding our own moral concepts. Finally, it defends reflective equilibrium by arguing that there is no sensible alternative to accepting the intuitions we have after full reflection, which is, in essence, what reflective equilibrium does.

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Michael DePaul
University of Notre Dame

Citations of this work

The objects of moral responsibility.Andrew C. Khoury - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1357-1381.
Is reflective equilibrium enough?Thomas Kelly & Sarah McGrath - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):325-359.
Reflective Equilibrium Without Intuitions?Georg Brun - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):237-252.
Reflective equilibrium and moral objectivity.Sem de Maagt - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (5):443-465.

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