Evolutionary naturalism and the logical structure of valuation: The other side of error theory

Cosmos and History 1 (2):270-294 (2005)
  Copy   BIBTEX


On one standard philosophical position adopted by evolutionary naturalists, human ethical systems are nothing more than evolutionary adaptations that facilitate social behavior. Belief in an absolute moral foundation is therefore in error. But evolutionary naturalism, by its commitment to the basic valutional concept of fitness, reveals another, logical error: standard conceptions of value in terms of simple predication and properties are mistaken. Valuation has instead, a relational structure that makes reference to respects, subjects and environments. This relational nature is illustrated by the analogy commonly drawn between value and color. Color perception, as recognized by the ecological concept, is relational and dependent on subject and environment. In a similar way, value is relational and dependent on subject and environment. This makes value subjective, but also objective in that it is grounded on facts about mattering. At bottom, values are complex relational facts. The view presented here, unlike other prominent relational and naturalistic conceptions of value, recognizes the full range of valuation in nature. The advantages of this relational conception are first, that it gets valuation right; second, it provides a framework to better explain and understand valuation in all its varieties and patterns



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,197

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Naturalizm i geneza logiki.Jan Woleński - 2012 - Filozofia Nauki 20 (4).
Evolution and error theory.John Mizzoni - 2010 - Social Science Information 49 (2):165-194.
In defence of error theory.Chris Daly & David Liggins - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (2):209-230.
The Error In 'The Error In The Error Theory'.Richard Joyce - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):519-534.
Critical principles: on the negative side.Mark H. Bickhard - 2002 - New Ideas in Psychology 20:1-34.
Naturalism and pragmatism.Jay Schulkin - 2012 - New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Can We Believe the Error Theory?Bart Streumer - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (4):194-212.


Added to PP

20 (#770,916)

6 months
5 (#647,370)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Richard A. Richards
University of Alabama

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Color and the inverted spectrum.David R. Hilbert & Mark Eli Kalderon - 2000 - In Steven Davis (ed.), Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 187-214.
A Defense of Evolutionary Ethics.Robert Richards - 1986 - Biology and Philosophy 1 (3):265-293.
Color.Barry Maund - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 15 references / Add more references