David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Biotheoretica 59 (1):29-51 (2011)
The impact of science on ethics forms since long the subject of intense debate. Although there is a growing consensus that science can describe morality and explain its evolutionary origins, there is less consensus about the ability of science to provide input to the normative domain of ethics. Whereas defenders of a scientific normative ethics appeal to naturalism, its critics either see the naturalistic fallacy committed or argue that the relevance of science to normative ethics remains undemonstrated. In this paper, we argue that current scientific normative ethicists commit no fallacy, that criticisms of scientific ethics contradict each other, and that scientific insights are relevant to normative inquiries by informing ethics about the options open to the ethical debate. Moreover, when conceiving normative ethics as being a nonfoundational ethics, science can be used to evaluate every possible norm. This stands in contrast to foundational ethics in which some norms remain beyond scientific inquiry. Finally, we state that a difference in conception of normative ethics underlies the disagreement between proponents and opponents of a scientific ethics. Our argument is based on and preceded by a reconsideration of the notions naturalistic fallacy and foundational ethics. This argument differs from previous work in scientific ethics: whereas before the philosophical project of naturalizing the normative has been stressed, here we focus on concrete consequences of biological findings for normative decisions or on the day-to-day normative relevance of these scientific insights
|Keywords||Science and ethics Naturalistic fallacy Normative ethics|
|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
Kenneth E. Goodpaster (1985). Business Ethics, Ideology, and the Naturalistic Fallacy. Journal of Business Ethics 4 (4):227 - 232.
Brian Duignan (ed.) (2011). Thinkers and Theories in Ethics. Rosen Education Services.
Stephen Darwall (1999). Why Ethics is Part of Philosophy. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 1:19-28.
Michael Philips (1985). Normative Contexts and Moral Decision. Journal of Business Ethics 4 (4):233 - 237.
Peter Singer (2005). Ethics and Intuitions. Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):331 - 352.
Lester F. Goodchild (1986). Toward a Foundational Normative Method in Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 5 (6):485 - 499.
Onora O'neill (2009). Applied Ethics: Naturalism, Normativity and Public Policy. Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (3):219-230.
Sandra B. Rosenthal & Rogene A. Buchholz (2000). The Empirical-Normative Split in Business Ethics. Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (2):399-408.
Added to index2010-05-07
Total downloads80 ( #19,030 of 1,140,007 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #48,755 of 1,140,007 )
How can I increase my downloads?