The wisdom of the pack

Neil Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This short article is a reply to Fine's criticisms of Haidt's social intuitionist model of moral judgement. After situating Haidt in the landscape of meta-ethical views, I examine Fine's argument, against Haidt, that the processes which give rise to moral judgements are amenable to rational control: first-order moral judgements, which are automatic, can nevertheless deliberately be brought to reflect higher-order judgements. However, Haidt's claims about the arationality of moral judgements seem to apply equally well to these higher-order judgements; showing that we can exercise higher-order control over first-order judgements therefore does not show that our judgements are rational. I conclude by sketching an alternative strategy for vindicating the rationality of moral judgements: by viewing moral argument as a community-wide and distributed enterprise, in which knowledge is produced by debate and transferred to individuals via testimony.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalPhilosophical Explorations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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