Intuitions in Moral Reasoning – Normative Empirical Reflective Equilibrium as a Model for Substantial Justification of Moral Claims

  • Ghislaine J. M. W. van Thiel
  • Johannes J. M. van Delden
Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 32)


Moral questions and dilemmas in everyday life prompt us to take a normative stance. Sometimes we rely on our moral intuitions and make judgments accordingly. In other cases, we feel the need for more extensive deliberation of a moral case. After a judgment is made, we have to ask: Can we justify our moral view to others who may have come to a different conclusion? A main theory that is put forward to seek justifiable resolutions is Reflective Equilibrium (RE). In a nutshell, RE is a coherentist model for moral justification in which the key idea is that we “test” various parts of our system of beliefs (including considered moral judgments, principles, relevant facts and background theories) against the other beliefs we hold. We aim to modify the model of RE in such a way that the moral experience of agents other than the thinker can play a role.


Moral Judgment Moral Reasoning Reasoning Process Background Theory Moral Intuition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghislaine J. M. W. van Thiel
    • 1
  • Johannes J. M. van Delden
    • 1
  1. 1.Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary CareUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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