Ethical intuitionism and the linguistic analogy

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):292-311 (2018)
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It is a central tenet of ethical intuitionism as defended by W. D. Ross and others that moral theory should reflect the convictions of mature moral agents. Hence, intuitionism is plausible to the extent that it corresponds to our well-considered moral judgments. After arguing for this claim, I discuss whether intuitionists offer an empirically adequate account of our moral obligations. I do this by applying recent empirical research by John Mikhail that is based on the idea of a universal moral grammar to a number of claims implicit in W. D. Ross’s normative theory. I argue that the results at least partly vindicate intuitionism.

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Philipp Schwind
University of Zürich


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