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common sense morality


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


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E thics Pre-theoretical moral convictions, held by ordinary people. Its value in ethics has been a subject of dispute. While some philosophers, such as Plato and Aquinas , believe that ordinary morality must be subject to theoretical examination and guidance, others, such as Aristotle, Kant, Hegel , those in the British moral sense tradition, moral intuitionists , Rawls and applied ethical theorists, believe that an adequate ethics must lie primarily in systematizing our common sense moral judgments. If the conclusions derived from a moral theory deeply conflict with common sense, the theory itself must be defective. Common sense morality denies that we need moral experts to guide our daily life, but it must combat moral relativism and can face a demand to provide a criterion to test the adequacy of common sense moral beliefs. “I submit that analogous to this internal common sense of law there is an internal common sense of morality which every rational morality ought to respect.” Cooper, The Diversity of Moral Thinking ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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