Is there a naturalistic fallacy?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
More than a century ago, G. E. Moore famously offered his own version of nonnaturalism in opposition to what are, in effect, analytic versions of reductive naturalism in ethics. Although Moore himself did not clearly distinguish the analysis of predicates from that of properties, he plainly denied that the evaluative predicate, good , could be analyzed in terms of any purely descriptive predicate, and took this to show that the property of goodness could not be identical to any natural property or properties. In support of this, he offered an extended inference, which begins with the so−called open question argument (hereafter, OQA ') and concludes that any such attempted analysis would commit a naturalistic fallacy.' There is now consensus that this extended inference faces a number of problems. Not only does it conflate properties and predicates, it also rests on a notion of philosophical analysis that is at best paradoxical. Moreover, it misconstrues ethical naturalism, taking it to consist in a single reductivist program. Here we propose a Moore−inspired, yet more modest, extended inference that we think can at once avoid these shortcomings and also show that evaluative predicates are not analyzable into purely descriptive predicates. Given our inference, any attempt at such an analysis would commit the naturalistic fallacy, for it would sanction a semantic equivalence between predicates that is at least debatable − for example, between good' and pleasure−maximizing.' The objection is leveled, not against metaphysical varieties of reductive naturalism, but only against semantic versions of this position.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
David Sloan Wilson, Eric Dietrich & Anne B. Clark (2003). On the Inappropriate Use of the Naturalistic Fallacy in Evolutionary Psychology. Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):669-81.
Jonathan Barrett (1991). Really Taking Darwin and the Naturalistic Fallacy Seriously: An Objection to Rottschaefer and Martinsen. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 6 (4):433-437.
Andrew J. Kerr (2000). The Possibility of Metaphysics: Environmental Ethics and the Naturalistic Fallacy. Environmental Ethics 22 (1):85-99.
William A. Rottschaefer & David Martinsen (1991). The Insufficience of Supervenient Explanations of Moral Actions: Really Taking Darwin and the Naturalistic Fallacy Seriously. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 6 (4):439-445.
Charles R. Pigden (2012). Identifying Goodness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):93 - 109.
Julia Tanner (2006). The Naturalistic Fallacy. Richmond Journal of Philosophy 13.
Susana Nuccetelli & Gary Seay (2011). Does Semantic Naturalism Rest on a Mistake? In Nuccetelli & Seay Susana & Gary (ed.), Ethical Naturalism: Current Debates. Cambridge University Press
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads13 ( #285,132 of 1,934,734 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?