Intuitions, Experiments, and Armchairs

In Christoph Lütge, Hannes Rusch & Matthias Uhl (eds.), Experimental Ethics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 227-243 (2014)

Authors
Nikil S. Mukerji
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Abstract
Some ethicists believe that we should give no weight to low-level intuitions about cases. In this paper, three common arguments for this position are examined and rejected. All have an empirical basis. The first is the argument from disagreement. The second draws on framing effects. And the third employs debunking explanations. The discussion aims to make a substantive methodological point about ethical inquiry, viz. that low-level intuitions are not to be shunned. Above that, however, its aim is to illuminate, by way of illustration, the relation between empirical findings and normative conclusions – a link that is rather intricate and can only be explored through armchair reflection.
Keywords experimental philosophy  experimental ethics  intuitions  reflective equilibrium  armchair philosophy  x-phi
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