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Reflective Equilibrium Without Intuitions?


Brun, Georg (2014). Reflective Equilibrium Without Intuitions? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 17(2):237-252.

Abstract

In moral epistemology, the method of reflective equilibrium is often characterized in terms of intuitions or understood as a method for justifying intuitions. An analysis of reflective equilibrium and current theories of moral intuitions reveals that this picture is problematic. Reflective equilibrium cannot be adequately characterized in terms of intuitions. Although the method presupposes that we have initially credible commitments, it does not presuppose that they are intuitions. Nonetheless, intuitions can enter the process of developing a reflective equilibrium and, if the process is successful, be justified. Since the method of reflective equilibrium does not essentially involve intuitions, it does not constitute a form of intuitionism in any substantial sense. It may be classified as intuitionist only in the minimal sense of not reducing justification to a matter of inference relations alone.

Abstract

In moral epistemology, the method of reflective equilibrium is often characterized in terms of intuitions or understood as a method for justifying intuitions. An analysis of reflective equilibrium and current theories of moral intuitions reveals that this picture is problematic. Reflective equilibrium cannot be adequately characterized in terms of intuitions. Although the method presupposes that we have initially credible commitments, it does not presuppose that they are intuitions. Nonetheless, intuitions can enter the process of developing a reflective equilibrium and, if the process is successful, be justified. Since the method of reflective equilibrium does not essentially involve intuitions, it does not constitute a form of intuitionism in any substantial sense. It may be classified as intuitionist only in the minimal sense of not reducing justification to a matter of inference relations alone.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Philosophy, Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
Language:English
Date:1 April 2014
Deposited On:07 Aug 2019 07:06
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 15:07
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1386-2820
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10677-013-9432-5

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