Entry on inutitionism in ethics
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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To intuit something is to apprehend it directly, without recourse to reasoning processes such as deduction or induction. Intuitionism in ethics proposes that we have a capacity for intuition and that some of the facts or properties that we intuit are irreducibly ethical. Traditionally, intuitionism also advances the important thesis that beliefs arising from intuition have direct justification. This means that such beliefs do not need to be justified by appeal to other beliefs or facts because the proposition believed is either self-evident or can have justification without being supported by evidence. So, while intuitionism in ethics is about the apprehension of ethical facts or properties, traditional intuitionism is principally a view about how ethical beliefs are justified: those arising from intuition have direct justification.
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