Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Non-naturalism - Intuitionalism
  • This is where ethical statements cannot be proved through empirical evidence, at most by examples. For non-naturalists something is good because it is good. It is not something that can be defined by experience.
  • GE Moore compares defining good to defining a color - it is impossible to define without showing it and when ‘good’ is said everyone has a different interpretation of it. 
  • If I am asked ‘what is good’ my answer is that good is good, and that is the end of the matter.
  • Moore’s approach lead to the creation of intuitionalism.
  • A special faculty called called moral intuition helps us understand basic moral principles. 
  • H.A. Pritchard said intuitionalism was the joining of reason and human intuition. Reason brought together facts of the situation and intuition worked out what is the right thing to do. He believed good wasn’t the only thing that couldn’t be defined - obligation couldn’t too. We all know when we ought to do a certain act. These are all different for everyone as everyone has a different moral intuition and some developed clearer than others. He also identified that obligations could and said that in these cases our intuition choses the higher obligation. 
  • W.D.Ross was also a big supporter of intuitionalism, he created the term ‘prima facie duties’ which means duties at first appearance. He said these duties are ones which are identified by the identifies them and applies them to our situation. 
  • Particularly Ross’s account where he gives a personal account makes everything very realistic.
  • Supports the idea of morality and defeats the naturalistic fallacy which other accounts are a victim of.
  • The existence of the intuition and what it is is quite vague.
  • We can never know whose intuition is right making moral discourse extremely difficult. 

No comments:

Post a Comment