Intuitions in Moral Inquiry

Michael R. DePaul

in The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780195325911
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Intuitions in Moral Inquiry

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This article examines in detail the methodology of seeking a “wide-reflective equilibrium” between theory and intuition. It argues that there is no sensible alternative, since the method basically consists in reflecting thoroughly and then trusting the conclusions that are reached. Moral philosophy can have an immediate significance for one's life that many other abstract areas of philosophy do not have. Normative theories have implications for how one is to live. And while metaethical theories may not have such implications, they can have implications for how one is to understand the implications of normative theory, so it can affect the understanding of claims about how one is to live. It is appropriate, therefore, to inquire into the relation between the theories that have been examined.

Keywords: wide-reflective equilibrium; intuition; moral philosophy; normative theories; metaethical theories

Article.  14549 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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