Article

Ethical Intuitionism

Robert Cowan

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0037
Ethical Intuitionism

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Ethical intuitionism is the meta-ethical view that normal ethical agents have at least some non-inferentially justified ethical beliefs and knowledge. Although intuitionism has traditionally been associated with non-epistemological views, such as non-naturalism, robust mind-independent realism, and ethical pluralism, the defining thesis is here taken to be an epistemological one. Indeed, the principal motivation for ethical intuitionism is arguably to provide a response to the epistemic regress of justification for ethical beliefs. Given this, both empiricist (“moral sense”) and rationalist intuitionist accounts can be found in the historical and contemporary philosophical literature. Despite being out of favor for much of the 20th century, ethical intuitionism has been enjoying something of a renaissance in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Several accounts of how non-inferential justification for ethical beliefs might be possible have been developed and a flurry of critical work has been undertaken in response, much of which has stemmed from work in empirical psychology. This article is largely focused on contemporary debates and developments.

Article.  8104 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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