The Moral Philosophy Of Moral Psychology Essay

1304 Words Aug 28th, 2015 null Page
In this essay, I shall consider the role of intuitions in moral theory, and in doing so, I will explore the limitations and problems with relying on intuitions when engaging in moral philosophy. In order to deal with these questions, I will first define intuitions in the sphere of morality, before turning to the notion of morality itself. I will argue that both moral intuitions and morality are features of our evolved psychology, and although they came about and served important roles in terms of our evolutionary success, such evolved traits also give rise to serious problems. That is, once we go beyond the reasons and roles for the evolution of our moral psychology, and start to consider why things are moral and the principles and prescriptions of moral theory, we will see that our intuitions are not necessarily moral. Instead, I assert that intuitions should play no role in moral theory, whatsoever.

When talking about intuitions, I will consider them as being automatic and immediate emotional responses that are rigid and inflexible (Greene 2013: 15; Sidgwick 1907: 97). In this way, intuitions can be thought of as the 'gut feelings ' we experience when faced with different scenarios, which act to prompt immediate judgements and exert pressure on behaviour (Sidgwick 1907: 97). That is, our intuitions work as automatic processes which tell us what to do, without us having to consciously think or reflect (Greene 2013: 135). When considering moral intuitions, in particular,…

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