Intuitive Methods of Moral Decision Making, A Philosophical Plea

In Muresan Valentin & Majima Shunzo (eds.), Applied Ethics: Perspectives from Romania. Center for Applied Ethics and Philosophy, Hokkaido University. pp. 62-78 (2013)
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to argue that intuitive methods of moral decision making are objective tools on the grounds that they are reasons based. First, I will conduct a preliminary analysis in which I highlight the acceptance of methodological pluralism in the practice of medical ethics. Here, the point is to show the possibility of using intuitive methods given the pluralism framework. Second, I will argue that the best starting point of elaborating such methods is a bottom-up perspective. Third, I will address the worry of subjectivism. Under the influence of certain rationalist positions and recent developments in cognitive science and moral psychology, one might think that intuitive methods of moral decision making are essentially subjective and emotion based. If moral intuitions are the result of emotional reactions and intuitive reasoning is emotionally driven, then there are reasons to believe intuitive methods are subjective and relative to particular psychological constitution. Against this picture, I will argue that intuitive methods of moral decision making are essentially reasons-based. A Wittgensteinian approach will show that intuitive methods of moral decision making are conceptually linked with criteria of morality.
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