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A companion to naturalism by Kelly James Clark

By Kelly James Clark

"Since the flip of the twenty-first century, naturalism has turn into essentially the most admired philosophical orthodoxies within the Western academy. but naturalism is extra usually assumed than defended. The Blackwell spouse to Naturalism deals a scientific creation that defines, discusses and defends philosophical naturalism. Essays take on naturalism's position in latest cultural conversations, from Libertarianism to Read more...

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The Blackwell significant other to Naturalism presents a scientific creation to philosophical naturalism and its relation to different faculties of thought. Read more...

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A stronger form of naturalism says that what there is, and all there is, in this and any actual world is natural. Stronger still would be the claim that what there is, and all there is, in any possible world is natural – that it is impossible for there to be any world that contains supernatural beings, entities, and the like. (This view has its attractions because it has rhetorical 4 Kitcher (1992) and Stroud (1996) claim that naturalism is pretty much the only game in town. This claim has credibility to the degree that they intend some version of the idea that for the purposes of doing ontology (or for naturalized epistemology or ethics), divine agency does not need to be introduced to play an explanatory role.

It is hard to see, the objectors claim, how such factual or descriptive knowledge can contribute to the project of understanding the aims of ethics, where the sources of moral motivation lie, and how we ought to live. , reason, emotion) and the sources of moral motivation. , philosophical anthropology) has implications for ethics. And though most of these claims suffer from sampling problems and were proposed in a time when the human sciences did not exist to test them, they are almost all testable – indeed, some have been tested (Flanagan 1991).

However, all the human scientific facts taken together, including that they are widely and strongly believed, could never justify any of these views. But we should conceive naturalistic ethics in pretty much the same way we conceive naturalized epistemology. Naturalistic ethics will contain a descriptive‐genealogical component that will specify certain basic capacities and propensities of Homo sapiens – for example, sympathy, empathy, egoism, and so on – relevant to moral life. It will explain how people come to feel, think, and act about moral matters in the way(s) they do.

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