I claim to have refuted, in the last four chapters, four of the five theories in metaethics: non-cognitivism, subjectivism, naturalism, and nihilism. As is usual in philosophy, the ‘refutations’ are provisional: those theories have been shown to face grave problems that justify rejecting them as long as any plausible alternative exists. Ethical intuitionism is the remaining alternative. But the received view in the field has long been that intuitionism is a hopelessly naive idea that can be dismissed in a few sentences. ‘I propose to ignore this theory’, writes Brandt of a related thesis; but most authors simply ignore it with no prior announcement. Ethics textbooks now contain one-paragraph ‘refutations’ of the doctrine, if they discuss it at all. All of this evidences the esteem in which intuitionism is held these days.1 So, the naive onlooker might conclude, contemporary philosophers must know some obvious and decisive objections to the theory. What are they?
KeywordsClay Fecl Defend Blindness Mist
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