Chapter

Sidgwick's Moral Epistemology

David Phillips

in Sidgwickian Ethics

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199778911
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919093 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199778911.003.0003
Sidgwick's Moral Epistemology

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • History of Western Philosophy

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

In this Chapter I do three things: first, I focus on Sidgwick's argument for intuitionism and argue (a) contra Shaver that it is both crucial to Sidgwick and depends crucially on his nonnaturalism, and (b) that it is a powerful argument for intuitionism, though not directly for the form of foundationalism Sidgwick embraces. Then, second, I turn to (what I argue is) the central puzzle in his moral epistemology: the puzzle that Methods IV ii is in a crucial way apparently inconsistent with “The Establishment of Ethical First Principles” and with Methods III. I argue against resolving the puzzle in favor of the material in IV ii and thus taking Sidgwick to be (more of) a coherentist; and I suggest a resolution of the puzzle compatible with my foundationalist reading of Sidgwick. But I suggest that the puzzle is hard to resolve, and that, though previous commentators have not presented it fully, it helps explain the controversy over Sidgwick's moral epistemology. Third, I defend my favored moderate foundationalist interpretation of Sidgwick's moral epistemology.

Keywords: epistemology; intuitionism; foundationalism; coherentism; Shaver

Chapter.  17722 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.