Utilitarianism Versus Dogmatic Intuitionism

David Phillips

in Sidgwickian Ethics

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199778911
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919093 | DOI:
Utilitarianism Versus Dogmatic Intuitionism

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Sidgwick argues that his own proto-utilitarian axioms satisfy his four criteria for self-evidence, while the principles of common-sense morality do not. On anyone's account, this criterial argument is central to his case for utilitarianism against dogmatic intuitionism. Important predecessors like Whewell and successors like Ross, who share his commitment to epistemic intuitionism but develop deontological moral theories, of course disagree. I claim that Sidgwick's argument fails; its official version, directed against Whewell, is vulnerable to a charge of unfairness; and its unofficial version cannot establish Sidgwick's view as against Ross's

Keywords: Whewell; utilitarianism; intuitionism; deontology; Ross unfairness

Chapter.  10843 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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