A Normative Yet Coherent Naturalism

Philo 17 (1):77-91 (2014)
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Abstract

Naturalism is normally taken to be an ideology, censuring non-naturalistic alternatives. But as many critics have pointed out, this ideological stance looks internally incoherent, since it is not obviously endorsed by naturalistic methods. Naturalists who have addressed this problem universally foreswear the normative component of naturalism by, in effect, giving up science’s exclusive claim to legitimacy. This option makes naturalism into an empty expression of personal preference that can carry no weight in the philosophical or political spheres. In response to this dilemma, I argue that on a popular construal of naturalism as a commitment to inference to the best explanation, methodological naturalism can be both normative and internally coherent.

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Steve Petersen
Niagara University

Citations of this work

Errata zu: Ist der Naturalismus eine Ideologie?Thomas Jussuf Spiegel - 2020 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 68 (3):492-493.

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References found in this work

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2010 - Routledge.
Explanation and scientific understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
The inference to the best explanation.Gilbert H. Harman - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):88-95.

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