Moral Intuitions: Are Philosophers Experts?

Philosophical Psychology, 26(5): 629-638

16 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2011 Last revised: 27 Nov 2013

See all articles by Kevin Tobia

Kevin Tobia

Georgetown University Law Center; Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy

Wesley Buckwalter

University of Waterloo - Department of Philosophy

Stephen Stich

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Date Written: September 6, 2011

Abstract

Recently psychologists and experimental philosophers have reported findings showing that in some cases ordinary people’s moral intuitions are affected by factors of dubious relevance to the truth of the content of the intuition. Some defend the use of intuition as evidence in ethics by arguing that philosophers are the experts in this area, and philosophers’ moral intuitions are both different from those of ordinary people and more reliable. We conducted two experiments indicating that philosophers and non-philosophers do indeed sometimes have different moral intuitions, but challenging the notion that philosophers have better or more reliable intuitions.

Keywords: intuition, expertise defense, actor-observer bias

Suggested Citation

Tobia, Kevin and Buckwalter, Wesley and Stich, Stephen, Moral Intuitions: Are Philosophers Experts? (September 6, 2011). Philosophical Psychology, 26(5): 629-638, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1923260 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1923260

Kevin Tobia (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/kevin-tobia/

Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy

37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
United States

Wesley Buckwalter

University of Waterloo - Department of Philosophy ( email )

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

Stephen Stich

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~stich/

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