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Ethical Intuitionism is a book (hardcover release: , paperback release: ) by University of Colorado philosophy professor Michael Huemer. Michael Huemer. University of Colorado, Boulder. Abstract. This book defends a form of ethical intuitionism, according to which (i) there are objective moral. In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in Ethical Intuitionism, ( ), Bedke (), Huemer (), Shafer-Landau (), Stratton-lake.

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The relationship between the two arguments is symmetric: The United States should not have gone to war in Iraq in Some writers might have been inclined to make the book more exhaustive, and exhausting, but — ibtuitionism his intended audience — I think Huemer was wise to keep it fairly short. It is highly unlikely that it could ever lead us to endorse nihilism, as the latter requires a rejection of our entire body of moral beliefs.

5 Moral Knowledge

One would, therefore, expect that if there were certain moral propositions the truth of which could be yuemer by intuition, then moral philosophers would converge inuitionism these truths. Hence, we shall never be able to trust anything. Moreover, upon introspecting, we notice that we do in fact have logical intuitions, and that they do in fact make us think some inferences to be valid. So the mystery is how we could know of something that is causally impotent. Sidgwick took disagreement seriously, and thought that if there was significant disagreement about the truth ehical some apparently self-evident moral proposition, then that casts doubt on whether that proposition really is self-evident.

However, much of the contemporary discussion in the literature is complex and technical. The second thing worthy of note is Huemer’s claim that we can extend the range of PPC to cover intellectual intuition. Unless we are allowed to take something for granted, nothing can count as verifying anything.


Michael Huemer, Ethical Intuitionism – PhilPapers

Similarly, suppose I say, ‘God is loving’. Huemer’s strategy is to argue against Intuitionism’s main rivals in the first part, and then to expound his favored theory in the second, before meeting possible objections. Sign in to use this feature.

Oxford University Press, To me, the former seems far more obvious. Intuition is also involved in the weighing of competing values–for instance, we may have intuitions about whether it is right to kill many people in order to depose a tyrant, if the facts of the case are as nituitionism believe them to be. This looks informative as it can tell us why whales and duck-billed platypuses are mammals when they are so different in seemingly significant ways from other mammals.

The author rebuts all the major objections to this theory and shows that the alternative theories about the dthical of ethics all face grave difficulties. It’s just that this justification is outweighed by opposing intuitions, and the theory based on them. But that wouldn’t pick up on the non-natural nature that intuitionists claim moral properties have. Let me begin critical evaluation by discussing Huemer’s taxonomy. Some question whether intuitions exist.

It is not accidental that my moral beliefs are true, because the moral facts, in general, are necessary; they could not have been otherwise. The first category has two subdivisions: This indicates in brief why I take any denial of Phenomenal Conservatism to be self-defeating.

Ethical Intuitionism (book) – Wikipedia

Ewing, for example, maintained that the characteristic we intuitiinism in mind when we think of something as being good is the ontuitionism it has of being the fitting object of a pro-attitude. A Philosophical Defense of Clinical Reasoning.


We have stipulated that general philosophical skepticism is not our concern. In any case there is nothing in the notion of a self-evident proposition that rules out justification or argument for that proposition. Many philosophers complain either that they don’t know what an intuition is or that the term ‘intuition’ is essentially empty and provides no account at all of how one might know something.


First, this concept does not seem to be metaphysically superficial or incomplete in the way that the concept of heat or water is. One might even know a self-evident proposition whilst endorsing a theory according to which no propositions are self-evident. If it is true, as Sinnott-Armstrong claims, that most of our moral beliefs are false, then intuitionists’ trust in our ordinary moral thought will look undermined regardless of whether they can salvage a few sound moral beliefs from the wreckage.

Analogously, eyewitnesses can and do exaggerate, make hasty judgments, and outright lie.

I know that ‘Socrates is a man’ and ‘All men are chauvinists’ together entail ‘Socrates is a chauvinist’. Nathan Ballantyne and Joshua C. Then we need positive reasons for trusting sense perception, memory, introspection, even reason itself. They outline their point in terms of undercutting defeaters and defeaters of those defeaters.

I say I have simplified but not oversimplified; the existence of universals is a trivial truth.