Non-Analytical Naturalism and the Nature of Normative Thought: A Reply to Parfit

Authors
N. G. Laskowski
Universität Duisburg-Essen
Abstract
Metaethical non-analytical naturalism consists in the metaphysical thesis that normative properties are identical with or reducible to natural properties and the epistemological thesis that we cannot come to a complete understanding of the nature of normative properties via conceptual analysis alone. In On What Matters, Derek Parfit (2011) argues that non-analytical naturalism is either false or incoherent. In § 1, I show that his argument for this claim is unsuccessful, by showing that it rests on a tacit assumption about the nature of normative thought that non-analytical naturalists need not accept. In § 2, I show that escaping Parfit’s argument in this way is no ad hoc maneuver; as I demonstrate, the idea that non-analytical naturalists can exploit to escape Parfit’s argument is a familiar one.
Keywords Normativity  Thought  Parfit  Metaethics  Mind  Naturalism  Nonnaturalism  Moral Concepts
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DOI 10.26556/jesp.v9i1.169
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The Sense of Incredibility in Ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):93-115.
Epistemic Modesty in Ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1577-1596.

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