Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Eddy Nahmias - Chair
Against moral intuitionism, which holds that moral intuitions can be non-inferentially justified, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues that moral intuitions are unreliable and must be confirmed to be justified (i.e. must be justified inferentially) because they are subject to cognitive biases. However, I suggest this is merely a renewed version of the argument from disagreement against intuitionism. As such, I attempt to show that the renewed argument is subject to an analogous objection as the old one; many cognitive biases of moral intuitions result from biases of non-moral judgments. Thus, the unreliability of moral intuitions due to biases (and the reason inferential justification was required) can be removed by clearing up the non-moral biases. Accordingly, biases of moral intuitions do not threaten a slightly qualified version intuitionism which posits non-inferential justification of intuitions when non-moral biases are not present. I also present an empirical study that lends initial support to my argument.
Thomas, Bradley Charles, "The Non-moral Basis of Cognitive Biases of Moral Intuitions." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2008.