Henry Sidgwick’s Moral Epistemology

Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (4):491-519 (2010)
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Abstract

In this essay I defend the view that Henry Sidgwick’s moral epistemology is a form of intuitionist foundationalism that grants common-sense morality no evidentiary role. In §1, I outline both the problematic of The Methods of Ethics and the main elements of its argument for utilitarianism. In §§2-4 I provide my interpretation of Sidgwick’s moral epistemology. In §§ 5-8 I refute rival interpretations, including the Rawlsian view that Sidgwick endorses some version of reflective equilibrium and the view that he is committed to some kind of pluralistic epistemology. In§ 9 I contend with some remaining objections to my view.

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Anthony Skelton
University of Western Ontario

References found in this work

The Independence of Moral Theory.John Rawls - 1974 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 48:5 - 22.
Sidgwick and Reflective Equilibrium.Peter Singer - 1974 - The Monist 58 (3):490-517.

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