Improving Our Ethical Beliefs

James Griffin

in Value Judgement

Published in print January 1998 | ISBN: 9780198752318
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597541 | DOI:
 Improving Our Ethical Beliefs

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How should we criticize and improve our ethical beliefs? This chapter assesses the methods most employed, or given lip‐service to, by philosophers today: piecemeal appeal to intuition and striving for wide reflective equilibrium. It argues that both have merit, but neither goes nearly far enough. The method of wide reflective equilibrium has plausibility in the natural sciences, but ethics lacks two of the features necessary for this plausibility: beliefs of high reliability (in the natural sciences, perceptual beliefs) and a certain kind of system.

Keywords: coherentism; ethical intuitions; ethics; foundationalism; method; reflective equilibrium

Chapter.  6580 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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