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International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 57, Issue 1, March 2017

Artur Szutta
Pages 5-18

Moral Intuitions, Disagreement, and the Consensus Condition

In this paper I focus on Roger Crisp’s objection to moral intuitionism. The objection is that in the face of disagreement, especially between ethical experts (understood here as epistemic peers), the mere fact of one’s having a moral intuition, even after reflection, is insufficient to hold a given moral belief. The core assumption of the objection is the consensus condition (or Sidgwick’s principle) according to which in the face of reasonable disagreement with one’s epistemic peers one should suspend one’s contested view. My goal is a critical analysis of this objection (with special attention paid to the idea of consensus condition). I offer five counter-arguments to show that Crisp’s argumentation is not conclusive. They are as follows: an argument from self-reference, from the doubt about the possibility of voluntarily suspending one’s judgment, from the priority of the first-person evidential basis, from epistemic luck, and from practical consequences of observing the consensus condition.

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