The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 195–216 | Cite as

Intuitions, Rationalizations, and Justification: A Defense of Sentimental Rationalism

  • Frank Hindriks

People sometimes make moral judgments on the basis of brief emotional episodes. I follow the widely established practice of referring to such affective responses as intuitions (Haidt 2001, 2012; Bedke 2012, Copp 2012). Recently, a number of moral psychologists have argued that moral judgments are never more than emotion- or intuition-based pronouncements on what is right or wrong (Haidt 2001, Nichols 2004, Prinz 2007). A wide variety of empirical findings seem to support this claim. For example, some argue that arbitrary emotional responses or intuitions induced under hypnosis elicit moral judgments (Wheatly and Haidt 2005). Furthermore, intuitions function as the point of last resort in attempts to justify moral judgments (Haidt, Björklund, and Murphy 2000). On the basis of such evidence, psychologists such as Jonathan Haidt (2001, 2012) and philosophers such as Shaun Nichols (2004) and Jesse Prinz (2007) defend what I call ‘Subjective Sentimentalism’, which consists of three claims...


Moral Judgment Moral Reasoning Affective Response Moral Belief Cognitive Dissonance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I thank Jochen Bojanowski, Joel Rickard, Sabine Roeser, Hanno Sauer, Markus Schlosser, and Peter Timmerman for helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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