John Ross And Mill 's Utilitarianism And Ross Essay

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Introduction:

Mill 's Utilitarianism and Ross ' Intuitionalism both use moral intuitions as core components of their moral theories, though their valuation of these intuition in making morally sound decisions differ. I will argue that it is this mis-valuation of moral intuition in Utilitarian tradition that makes the moral theory unstable and prone to criticism. Ross ' deontological approach to moral intuitions provides a more believable, and morally acceptable account of the role these intuitions play in making ethical decisions. In this paper I will begin with underlying both Ross ' and Mill 's valuation of moral intuitions in the framework of their moral theories, followed by a brief explanation of each philosophers view of “what makes an act moral”. Having established these I will, with the aid of an anecdote about a child and a sled, describe my difficulties with Mill 's utilitarian approach to ethics. Finishing with an assessment of some utilitarian complaints about Ross ' theory. Ultimately Utilitarianism provides a commendable theory for widely applicable and practical moral action, but it 's inability to address conflicts with strong moral intuitions weakens it 's argument leading me to favor that of Ross ' more flexible, yet not relativistic, intuitionalism.

i) The Value of Moral Intuitions:

Both Ross and Mill recognize the existence of what one might call a “prima facie” duty ( or virtue), this being an action that is intuitively deemed morally right
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