Nature and ethics

The first part of this paper deals with Mill’s influential criticism of the natural law tradition. According to Mill, this tradition is based on a mistaken conception of nature. This essay argues that Mill’s own view of nature is misconceived and that this misconception leads him to misrepresent the tradition itself. The second part deals with those modern philosophers who reject the natural law tradition but who nevertheless attempt to account for morality as being based on human nature. Certain criticisms are made of their views. The chief criticism is that their views are based on an idea of nature that is no different from Mill’s
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