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Morally Serious Critics of Moral Intuitions

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I characterize moral intuitionism as the methodological claim that one may legitimately appeal to moral judgments in the course of moral reasoning even when those judgments are not supported by inference from other judgments. I describe two patterns of criticism of this method: ‘morally unserious’ criticisms, which hold that ‘morality is bunk’, so appeals to moral intuitions are bunk as well; and ‘morally serious’ criticisms, which hold that morality is not bunk, but that appeals to moral intuition are nonetheless misguided. I consider morally serious criticisms of Kantian and Aristotelian provenance, but defend the intuitionist method from both.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK M.T.

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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