, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 15-44

Moderate Intuitionism and the Epistemology of Moral Judgment

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Abstract

This paper outlines and defends a moderate intuitionism. The point of departure is the intuitionism of W. D. Ross (1930) in The Right and the Good, conceived as ethically pluralist and epistemologically rationalist. The paper articulates a conception of self-evidence – including mediate as well as immediate kinds – appropriate to a moderate intuitionism, explores some of the resources and varieties of that position, and considers some problems and prospects for a rationalist version of intuitionism. The final section addresses the issue of how best to conceive the nature and grounds of prima facie duty, the problem of whether intuitionism can adequately deal with conflicts of prima facie duties, and the question of how satisfactorily a moderate intuitionism can account for the epistemic status of moral judgments of overall duty and their connection with rational action.