SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Intuitionism, Skepticism, and Utilitarianism
(Ethics, English)

Intuitionism had been one of the most prominent ethical approaches over two hundred years, especially on the British Isles. In the first third of the 20th century it started losing its power; however, in the last few years several philosophers have been trying to renew this approach, which has made it one of the most discussed topics of contemporary metaethics. The very heart of intuitionism consists of two kinds of claims -- ontological and epistemological -- which are closely interconnected. Almost everyone supporting intuitionism agree with moral realism, e. i. holds that there are objective moral facts existing independently on human mind and being completely different from natural facts. The epistemological assumption is that, in general, basic moral propositions, e. i. intuitions, are self-evident and do not need any supporting arguments. For some intuitionist these intuitions present a basis for a construction of moral principles. The paper will consist of five parts. First, I will present intuitionism and its basic assumptions. Second, I will explain skeptical arguments against intuitionism. As skeptics fancy use the evidence of empirical research concerning the reliability of moral intuitions, in the third part, I will briefly outline this issue. Some of the proponents of intuitionism try to react to these objections and create a less flawed version of this approach. Such an attempt is Michael Huemer's revisionary intuitionism, which I will describe in the fourth part. Huemer claims that the methodology he offers would probably lead to some form of utilitarianism. Finally, I will explain how we may reach the same conclusion also from the position of moderate skepticism, which seems to be less problematic than intuitionism.

Chair: Julia Mirkin
Time: 15:20-15:50, 12 September 2018 (Wednesday)
Location: SR 1.007

Petra Chudárková 
(Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic)

Petra Chudárková is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts at the Palacký University in Olomouc. She specializes in ethics and philosophy of language. Her current research focuses on the problem of reliability of moral intuitions and its implications for the realm of normative ethics. Her doctoral thesis deals with utilitarianism from the philosophical and scientific perspective.

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