Publication Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Considered Moral Judgment, Ethical Intuitionism, John Rawls, Moral Epistemology, Moral Justification, Reflective Equilibrium


The input objection to reflective equilibrium (RE) claims that the method fails as a method of moral justification. According to the objection, considered moral judgments (CMJs) are not truth-conducive. Because the method uses inputs that are not credible, the method does not generate justified moral beliefs. The objection is solved by reinterpreting RE using contemporary developments in ethical intuitionism. The first half of the thesis sets up the input objection, explores potential responses to the objection, and uncovers the best way to solve the objection. The second half of the thesis solves the input objection by defining key terms, detailing the revised RE procedure, reinserting the notion of a competent moral judge into the method, using intuitionist criteria for identifying genuine moral intuitions, creating three filters capable of sorting good from bad CMJs, and showing how it is possible to assign evidential weight to CMJs so that they can be used as standards against which moral principles can be measured and a justified moral theory realized.