The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 177–194 | Cite as

Varieties of Moral Intuitionism

  • Elizabeth Tropman

Moral intuitionism is the view that we can know or justifiably believe some moral facts directly, without inferring them from other evidence or proof. While intuitionism is frequently dismissed as implausible, the theory has received renewed interest in the literature.1 Several philosophers have defended updated intuitionistic theories and argue that the theory is not as objectionable as previously alleged.

Contemporary reformulations of moral intuitionism are being developed along multiple lines. These different varieties of intuitionism call for critical classification and comparison. I take up this task in this paper. In what follows, I tease out important points of contention among rival intuitionists and draw some preliminary conclusions about the relative merits of certain intuitionistic approaches. I pay special attention to the relatively recent suggestion that intuitive moral knowledge is based on how things appear to the judging subject.2I refer to this view as “appearance...


Moral Belief Moral Emotion Moral Intuition Moral Knowledge Moral Fact 
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I would like to thank Charlie Kurth, Sabine Roeser, and an anonymous referee for their helpful comments and suggestions.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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