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Intuition, Inference, and Rational Disagreement in Ethics

Robert Audi
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
Vol. 11, No. 5 (Nov., 2008), pp. 475-492
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40284259
Page Count: 18
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Intuition, Inference, and Rational Disagreement in Ethics
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Abstract

This paper defends a moderate intuitionism by extending a version of that view previously put forward and responding to some significant objections to it that have been posed in recent years. The notion of intuition is clarified, and various kinds of intuition are distinguished and interconnected. These include doxastic intuitions and intuitive seemings. The concept of inference is also clarified. In that light, the possibility of non-inferential intuitive justification is explained in relation to both singular moral judgments, which intuitionists do not take to be self-evident, and basic moral principles, which they typically do take to be self-evident in a sense explicated in the paper. This explanation is accomplished in part by drawing some analogies between moral and perceptual judgments in the light of a developmental conception of knowledge. The final section of the paper presents a partial account of rational disagreement and indicates how the kind of intuitionist view defended can allow for rational disagreement between apparent epistemic peers.

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