David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics 109 (4):846-857 (1999)
Tamara Horowitz criticizes the use of thought experiments by Warren Quinn and others to support a version of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. She argues that because a competing empirical explanatory hypothesis for our common agreement on the correct outcome in those thought experiments is true we should conclude that our intuitions concerning those examples do not provide support for the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. Other authors have reached similar conclusions. I argue that the argument misconstrues the role of higher order reflection on first order intuitive moral judgements in moral thinking. Appropriately appreciating that role will require us to reject Horowitz's claim that she has undermined arguments from Quinn's examples to the conclusion that there is a morally significance difference between doing and allowing.
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