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Ethical Intuitionism

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This book defends a form of ethical intuitionism, according to which (i) there are objective moral truths; (ii) we know some of these truths through a kind of immediate, intellectual awareness, or "intuition"; and (iii) our knowledge of moral truths gives us reasons for action independent of our desires. The author rebuts all the major objections to this theory and shows t ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 4th 2006 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published September 4th 2005)
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May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are a few great things about this book:

1. As noted before, the approachibility is nearly flawless. Heumer explains everything in an extremely understanding way. The only iffy part was when he went into the Humean objections. Although, he made them bearable and seemingly did a good job at knocking them down.

2. It fights off the laziness group of morality; the relativists and nihilists. The ones who claim morality is subjective or do not exist because they seem too lazy to actually search fo
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The nice thing about this book is its approachability. Huemer has a talent for explaining complex concepts in a clear and concise manner- something that is wanting in a lot of philosophy books. His argument is that there are object evaluative facts (moral facts) which we know about through intuition. Huemer does an admirable job of defending this unpopular theory against other metaethical theories.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Finally, a philosopher with the courage to argue in favor, with remarkable clarity, of the obvious. Ignore Huemer at your intellectual peril.
Kramer Thompson
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Michael Huemer here presents a compelling, extremely readable argument in favour of moral realism and ethical intuitionism, and against the three most prominent moral anti-realist theories - subjectivism, non-cognitivism, error theory (or nihilism) - as well as moral naturalism. His main arguments against the anti-realist and moral naturalist positions essentially show how they cannot deal with the way we use moral terms, and are hence much less plausible than moral realism. I found Huemer's arg ...more
Jared Tobin
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This important book defends what might be the only satisfying theory of meta-ethics. That is: that there exist moral truths (i.e. moral realism is true), that we have an innate mechanism for perceiving or intuiting these truths (i.e. ethical intuitionism is true), and that these intuitions are irreducible (i.e. ethical naturalism is false).

Huemer's prose is simple and lucid. He presents the salad of competing meta-ethical theories (subjectivism, non-cognitivism, nihilism, and naturalism) and arg
Chris Pacia
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finished read this. While I think Huemer's logic is impeccable and I can't really disagree with any of his arguments, I somewhat find objective morality more unsettling now then before I read it. Even though we can plausibly use intuition as a source of moral knowledge, we're still left wondering where it comes from.
Unlike sensory perception where the computer I'm typing on (very likely) exists whether I perceive it or not and would exists (the raw materials at least) whether I or any other huma
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
A lot of respondents are hailing Huemer as taking the obvious position that is somehow unpopular, against opponents whose views are so ludicrous that it isn't obvious why they were taken seriously for so long. Anyone who hears that story though should be struck by the fact that it is very convenient for Huemer. How could the situation have been so bad for so long? Huemer seems to realize this but he blames it on conformity, political correctness, cynicism, and scientism, which I think is far fet ...more
Dio Mavroyannis
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wtr-pol-phil
This is a tough read requires constant focus. Nevertheless if you have an interest in philosophy there is probably no other book you can walk away from with as clear conceptions about the subject matter discussed. His syllogism style of presenting arguments is off the charts.

Personally I had some mix of views found in this book and I can honestly say that this book was like a bucket of cold water, brushing away all the nonsense views I held. In fact I am converted from a kind of natural moral r
Adrián Sánchez
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: etica
La pieza que me faltaba para una justificación sobre de dónde puede devenir un sistema ético riguroso, el libro sigue la misma estructura que ya se presentó en El Problema de la Autoridad Política, es decir, dividido en 2 partes, la primera, donde se enfrenta y refuta las teorías alternativas (dando por supuesto un breve paso sobre los conceptos a utilizar) y la segunda parte donde desarrolla el caso completo de la posición propuesta, es decir, el intuicionismo ético, así como las críticas que r ...more
J.M. Simmons
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's difficult to present complex topics in a way that is easy for readers to approach without taking forever to make your point. So, whether you agree with his argument, he obviously made a strong effort to be clear and concise, and that is appreciated.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
Pseudo math to support what "some say". And Huemer? He is there, somewhere, as the puppeteer of this show. Sadly, too dull to stay and figure out what he really wants to sell.
Luke Simpson
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The first philosophy book I ever read cover to cover that I wasn't forced to read for a class.

It's an excellent book. If you have doubts about objective moral values, then you could do worse than to read it. Don't expect answers to specific moral questions. That's not what it is. It's meta-ethics, which means it supplies answers to metaphysical and epistemological questions about morality.

What does it mean for an action to be right or wrong?
How do we know whether an action is right or wrong?
Christopher Simpson
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
A tour de force defense of Ethical Intuitionism.
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