Ethical Intuitionism is a book (hardcover release: , paperback release: ) by University of Colorado philosophy professor Michael Huemer. Michael Huemer. University of Colorado, Boulder. Abstract. This book defends a form of ethical intuitionism, according to which (i) there are objective moral. In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in Ethical Intuitionism, ( ), Bedke (), Huemer (), Shafer-Landau (), Stratton-lake.

Author: Brara Nikora
Country: Togo
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Art
Published (Last): 28 November 2009
Pages: 247
PDF File Size: 8.32 Mb
ePub File Size: 14.65 Mb
ISBN: 610-6-71153-671-7
Downloads: 40202
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Durn

If we have evidence that a subclass of our moral beliefs is not subject to these undercutting defeaters, then that evidence defeats the defeater, and justification is restored. This terminology could mislead the careless reader.


The only difference between ethical intuitions and non-ethical intuitions is in what they are about–and that cannot be taken as grounds for the queerness Mackie sees, unless we are to reject ethical knowledge merely for being ethical. For instance, there is no possible world in which enjoyment is not intrinsically good.

The point that intuition is often independent of belief is important, since it enables intuition to provide the sort intuitinoism constraint needed for adjudicating between competing moral theories. Some intuitions may be mistaken, in which case they do not constitute direct awareness of moral facts.

Yellow is ‘abstract’ in the sense that it is not a particular object with a particular eghical you will not bump into yellow, just sitting there by itself, on the street. But all that science would have told us is that lobsters feel pain when boiled alive. In ethics, the assumption would be that the base truths would be very general. Intuitionists could defend themselves from this objection by downplaying the amount intuutionism moral disagreement.

Second, it is doubtful that all of our non-moral knowledge can be checked in the sense required by the objection. When subjects have considered Bridge first, they are more likely to say that it would be wrong to pull the lever in Switch.

Though these propositions seem true to some, the relevant appearances do not count as ‘intuitions’ because they depend on other beliefs. Because it seems bad.

Sentence Y is of the same form, so it can be true only if ‘yellow’ refers to something–that is, only if yellow exists. Such defeating evidence would consist either of evidence directly against the proposition that intuitively seemed true, or of evidence that our initial intuition was unreliable. For this sort of reason, most of those sympathetic to empiricism are more inclined to claim instead that ‘Nothing can be both red and green’ is somehow made true by virtue of the definitions of ‘red’ and ‘green’.


We can call this the method of reflective equilibrium. If belief A huemee no prima facie justification, and belief B also ijtuitionism no prima facie justification, then one can not legitimately ‘check on’ or ‘verify’ A ‘s truth by appealing to B. When you read the skeptical argument as I initially presented it–if the argument sounded reasonable to you–you were ‘intuiting’ all those intuitiobism. Sign in to use this feature.

If, on the other hand, we reject this conception of prima facie justification, then it is unclear how one is supposed to check anything. A more natural view is that we are first of all aware of things –that is, external things. For instance, two people might disagree about whether it is permissible to boil lobsters alive just because they disagree about whether lobsters can feel pain. As I will explain later, one might have some argument that leads one to believe a self-evident proposition, or one may believe it on the basis of authoritative testimony.

Y Yellow is a color. Therefore, it would be irrational to reject the etnical proposition on the basis of the latter.

Moral Knowledge

A naive empiricist might appeal to my experiences with colored objects: Although a proposition may be evident to one ethicl but not to another, it could not be self-evident to one person, but not to another.

It would seem better, and simpler, in the intellectual case, to interpret ‘seems’ statements doxastically. Roughly speaking, we want to adopt the coherent belief system that is closest to the appearances, where kntuitionism to appearances is a matter of ihtuitionism many apparently-true propositions are maintained, with these propositions weighted by their initial degree of plausibility.

If the definition is true, then the question must be closed, so if it is open, the definition must be false. Notice that the claim is not that all intuitions are true. We might call this the phenomenal sense. Some writers might have been inclined to make the book more exhaustive, and exhausting, but — given his intended audience — I think Huemer was wise to keep it fairly short. Some philosophers claim that ethical pluralism the view that there is an irreducible plurality of basic moral principles, and that there is no strict priority of any one principle over another is an essential feature of intuitionist thought, but not all etyical are pluralists, e.


Since an understanding intuitioniwm a proposition is neither a pragmatic nor an evidential consideration, it is not the right sort of thing to etgical us a reason to believe that proposition, and so not the right sort of thing to justify that belief. He may check on this by a seeing whether his intuition coheres with the intuitions of others, and etuical seeing whether his intuition about abortion coheres with his intuition about, say, Thomson’s violinist case.

Here are some examples in ethics: But this approach leads to the absurd consequence that, say, years ago, people were in no position to know whether it was possible for a red object to be green–indeed, did not even understand the meanings of those words–since they did not know the scientific theory of colors. Anyone who could not see these things would have to have failed to understand the relevant universals.

Whether or not there is moral knowledge, there is a priori knowledge eghical other kinds, so there must be some solution to Benacerraf’s problem.

Michael Huemer, Ethical Intuitionism – PhilPapers

intuitionims According to this doctrine, we may produce some good that involves a bad outcome, so long as the bad outcome is not hemer. It seems to be justified intuitively, that is, simply because it seems obvious on reflection.

I know p only if it is not a mere accident not a matter of chance that I am right about whether p. Beliefs like this, perceptual beliefs, are based on the immediate experience sensory intuition I have of a cat sleeping in front of me; they are not the sensory intuition itself.

In that case, his concept of chaos is eyhical and is not ethifal adequate grasp of the nature of chaos. The intuitionist conception of goodness may be regarded as mysterious because it is alleged to be unanalysable or indefinable.

Likewise, in ethical intuition, as a point of phenomenological fact, we find ourselves presented with moral properties and relationships, not with mental states.

It is never the case that enjoyment is better than excruciating pain. But this explanation is unsettled by a variant of Switch, according to which the large man is on the spur track, and that track now loops back onto the main one.