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Relative JusticeCultural Diversity, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility$
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Tamler Sommers

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139937

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139937.001.0001

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The Appeal to Intuition

The Appeal to Intuition

Chapter:
(p.9) Chapter One The Appeal to Intuition
Source:
Relative Justice
Author(s):

Tamler Sommers

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691139937.003.0002

This chapter examines the methodology that philosophers employ to defend their theories of moral responsibility, and reveals the ways in which they rely on appeals to intuition. It shows that most leading theories aspire to universality; that is, they aim to provide conditions for moral responsibility that hold for human beings across cultures. It then identifies the crucial empirical assumptions upon which theories of moral responsibility rely because of these common features. It suggests that philosophical theorizing can have a corrupting influence on our intuitions. Our intuitions might be biased in favor of theories we have spent much of our careers developing. Moreover, even if we concede that the intuitions of philosophers are more reliable than those of “common folk,” we cannot assume that these intuitions are uniform among the experts.

Keywords:   moral responsibility, philosophical theories, intuition, universality

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