Ethics and Intuitions

The Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):331-352 (2005)
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Abstract

For millennia, philosophers have speculated about the origins of ethics. Recent research in evolutionary psychology and the neurosciences has shed light on that question. But this research also has normative significance. A standard way of arguing against a normative ethical theory is to show that in some circumstances the theory leads to judgments that are contrary to our common moral intuitions. If, however, these moral intuitions are the biological residue of our evolutionary history, it is not clear why we should regard them as having any normative force. Research in the neurosciences should therefore lead us to reconsider the role of intuitions in normative ethics.

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Citations of this work

Consequentialism.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Guy Kahane - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):103-125.
The Normative Insignificance of Neuroscience.Selim Berker - 2009 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 37 (4):293-329.

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Active and Passive Euthanasia.James Rachels - 1975 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Sidgwick and Reflective Equilibrium.Peter Singer - 1974 - The Monist 58 (3):490-517.
An Examination of Restricted Utilitarianism.H. J. McCloskey - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (4):466-485.

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