A defense of two optimistic claims in ethical theory

Philosophical Studies 112 (1):1-30 (2003)
Abstract
I aim to show that (i) there are good ways to argue about what has intrinsic value; and (ii) good ethical arguments needn't make ethical assumptions. I support (i) and(ii) by rebutting direct attacks, by discussing nine plausible ways to argue about intrinsic value, and by arguing for pains intrinsic badness without making ethical assumptions. If (i) and (ii) are correct, then ethical theory has more resources than many philosophers have thought: empirical evidence, and evidence bearing on intrinsic value. With more resources, we can hope to base all of our moral beliefs on evidence rather than on, say, emotion or mere intuition.
Keywords Intrinsic Value  Pain  Foundations of Ethics  Types of Arguments  Intuition
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