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Some Good and Bad News for Ethical Intuitionism

Pekka Väyrynen
The Philosophical Quarterly (1950-)
Vol. 58, No. 232 (Jul., 2008), pp. 489-511
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40208642
Page Count: 23
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Some Good and Bad News for Ethical Intuitionism
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Abstract

The core doctrine of ethical intuitionism is that some of our ethical knowledge is non-inferential. Against this, Sturgeon has recently objected that if ethical intuitionists accept a certain plausible rationale for the autonomy of ethics, then their foundationalism commits them to an implausible epistemology outside ethics. I show that irrespective of whether ethical intuitionists take non-inferential ethical knowledge to be a priori or a posteriori, their commitment to the autonomy of ethics and foundationalism does not entail any implausible non-inferential knowledge in areas outside ethics (such as the past, the future, or the unobservable). However, each form of intuitionism does require a controversial stand on certain unresolved issues outside ethics.

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