more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 5205

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / c. Ethical intuitionism]

Full Idea

Unless it is possible to provide some criterion by which one may decide between conflicting intuitions, a mere appeal to intuition is worthless as a test of a proposition's validity.

Gist of Idea

Moral intuition is worthless if there is no criterion to decide between intuitions


A.J. Ayer (Language,Truth and Logic [1936], Ch.6)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'Language, Truth and Logic' [Penguin 1974], p.141

A Reaction

It is a bit much to expect a 'proof' of its 'validity'! If moral judgements are reflected in consequences, then reliable intuitions (i.e. wisdom) could be demonstrated by getting it right (for happiness, or flourishing).