Abstract
Reflective equilibrium is widely accepted as a method of justifying ethical beliefs. Narrow reflective equilibrium justifies moral beliefs by achieving coherence between moral principles and moral judgments. However, this theory has been accused of moral conservatism objection; that is, moral beliefs may appear to be coherent but wrong. What are the normative grounds for criticizing implausible beliefs that seem to be in equilibrium? Wide reflective equilibrium has been the traditional attempt to respond to the conservatism objection. It adds non-moral beliefs into the coherence. All our moral principles, moral judgments, and non-moral beliefs must be in balance. If there is incoherence in our system of beliefs, adjustments must be made to one or more of our beliefs to return our beliefs into equilibrium. However, wide reflective equilibrium is also susceptible to the moral conservatism objection. All our beliefs may seem to be coherent but lead to implausible results. In this thesis, I argue that a modified wide reflective equilibrium theory is a better response to the moral conservatism objection. My theory of modified wide reflective equilibrium adds two other elements into the equilibrium: background social and economic conditions, and formative experiences. By background social and economic conditions I mean to include social, economic, technological, political, institutional, and legal conditions that influence our beliefs. They give rise to new moral issues and color old moral issues in a new light. They highlight moral issues not previously noticed and uncover hidden inconsistencies. Formative experiences are actual or vicarious experiences of situations that generate moral issues. By formative experiences we become more competent in judging the salient facts, the interrelationships of data, the motivations of actions, and the consequences of our decisions. Adding conditions and experiences to the equation helps challenge implausible ideas and better responds to the moral conservatism objection
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,417
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Wide Reflective Equilibrium as a Method of Justification in Bioethics.Peter Nichols - 2012 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 33 (5):325-341.
The Amoralist Objection and the Method of Moral Reasoning.Matej Sušnik - 2009 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):91-100.
Moral Judgments and the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction.Jennifer Mccrickerd - 2001 - Journal of Philosophical Research 26:423-433.
Ethics and Intuitions: A Reply to Singer.Joakim Sandberg & Niklas Juth - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (3):209-226.
Intuitions, Heuristics, and Utilitarianism.Peter Singer - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):560-561.
Grounding Rights and a Method of Reflective Equilibrium.Kai Nielsen - 1982 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 25 (3):277 – 306.
The Reliability of Moral Intuitions: A Challenge From Neuroscience.Folke Tersman - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):389 – 405.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-06-08

Total views
55 ( #193,751 of 2,449,116 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #177,092 of 2,449,116 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes