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Lecture 12

PHIL 2550 Lecture 12: Moral Intuitions
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2 Pages
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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 2550
Professor
Jason Millar

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Moral Intuitions
- “It’s hard to imagine any way to develop a moral theory without relying on moral intuitions
at all” (246)
The premises of moral intuitions are seen throughout the 3 basic perspectives seen at the
beginning of the course
- Definition: moral intuitions strong, stable & immediate moral beliefs
Strong in that they are held with confidence and resist counter-evidence
Stable in that they are not temporary but last a long time
Immediate because they do not arise from any process that goes through intermediate
steps of conscious teaching
Problematic?
- Philosophers say that moral institutions are problematic. Why?
Moral intuitions can lead to morally questionable actions
Do not seem to rely on rational evaluation
Might not be based on the right kinds of facts
“Moral intuitions are unreliable to the extent that morally irrelevant factors affect
moral intuitions” (247) this questions the reliably of our moral intuitions
BUT…
- We have discussed that moral intuitions seem to be unavoidable
- Seem to be required
Are we justified in relying on our moral intuitions?
- We need to know about the processes that produce moral intuitions before we can determine
whether moral intuition are justified”
- Multi-System Moral Psych showed some intuitive moral judgement
Do you push the man onto the bridge to stop the trolley? Our intuition says no
Heuristic
- Authors adopt an approach that starts from the position that moral intuitions are shaped and
driven by heuristic
- Heuristic “…any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a
practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate
goals. Where finding an optimal solution is impossible or impractical, heuristic methods can
be used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution. Heuristics can be mental
shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision
- Authors adopt the approach that start from the position that non-moral intuitions are driven
by heuristic
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Description
Moral Intuitions - “It’s hard to imagine any way to develop a moral theory without relying on moral intuitions at all” (246) • The premises of moral intuitions are seen throughout the 3 basic perspectives seen at the beginning of the course - Definition: moral intuitions strong, stable & immediate moral beliefs • Strong in that they are held with confidence and resist counter-evidence • Stable in that they are not temporary but last a long time • Immediate because they do not arise from any process that goes through intermediate steps of conscious teaching Problematic? - Philosophers say that moral institutions are problematic. Why? • Moral intuitions can lead to morally questionable actions • Do not seem to rely on rational evaluation • Might not be based on the right kinds of facts  “Moral intuitions are unreliable to the extent that morally irrelevant factors affect moral intuitions” (247)  this questions the reliably of our moral intuitions BUT… - We have discussed that moral intuitions seem to be unavoidable - Seem to be required Are we justified in relying on our moral intuitions? - We need to know about the processes that produce moral intuitions before we can determine whether moral intuition are justified” - Multi-System Moral Psych showed some intuitive moral judgement • Do you push the man onto the bridge to stop the trolley? Our intuition says no Heuristic - Authors adopt an approach that starts from the position that moral intuitions are shaped and driven by heuristic - Heuristic “…any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals. Where finding an optimal solution is impossible or impractical, heuristic methods can be used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution.
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