Date of Award

Winter 12-7-2021

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Classics, Philosophy, and Religion

Department Chair or Program Director

Romero, Joseph

First Advisor

Reno, Michael

Second Advisor

Hayob-Matzke, Jason

Major or Concentration



Robert Audi’s 2005 book The Good in the Right is a formidable representative of the recently resurgent theory ethical intuitionism (EI). Its renown is not unearned; Audi has developed a novel version of EI that preserves some of the most appealing features of Rossian EI while making a few key changes that help it to stand up better to some criticisms. This paper will explore Audi’s position and articulate a variety of objections to it that, taken together, prevent it from being a serious contender on the metaethical stage. The first section will discuss some of the difficulties with Audi’s attempt to establish a plausible and coherent account of the kind of self-evidence necessary to support EI. The next section will express two objections to Audi’s views concerning the role that reflection (as opposed to inference) plays in coming to justified conclusions. The last section will argue that Audi’s attempt to lend additional support to Rossian principles on the basis of a semi-utilitarian theory of value unambiguously fails.