Naturalism in Mathematics investigates how the most fundamental assumptions of mathematics can be justified. One prevalent philosophical approach to the problem--realism--is examined and rejected in favor of another approach--naturalism. Penelope Maddy defines this naturalism, explains the motivation for it, and shows how it can be successfully applied in set theory. Her clear, original treatment of this fundamental issue is informed by current work in both philosophy and mathematics, and will be accessible and enlightening to readers from both (...) disciplines. (shrink)
Naturalism is the label for the thesis that the tools we should use in answering philosophical problems are the methods and findings of the mature sciences—from physics across to biology and increasingly neuroscience. It enables us to rule out answers to philosophical questions that are incompatible with scientific findings. It enables us to rule out epistemological pluralism—that the house of knowledge has many mansions, as well as skepticism about the reach of science. It bids us doubt that there are (...) facts about reality that science cannot grasp. It gives us confidence to assert that by now in the development of science, absence of evidence is prima facie good grounds for evidence of absence: this goes for God, and a great deal else. (shrink)
I begin by retracing an argument from Aristotle for final causes in science. Then, I advance this ancient thought, and defend an argument for a stronger conclusion: that no scientific explanation can succeed, if Naturalism is true. The argument goes like this: (1) Any scientific explanation can be successful only if it crucially involves a natural regularity. Next, I argue that (2) any explanation can be successful only if it crucially involves no element that calls out for explanation but (...) lacks one. From (1) and (2) it follows that (3) a scientific explanation can be successful only if it crucially involves a natural regularity, and this regularity does not call out for explanation while lacking one. I then argue that (4) if Naturalism is true, then all natural regularities call out for explanation but lack them. From (3) and (4) it follows that (5) if Naturalism is true, then no scientific explanation can be successful. If you believe that scientific explanation can be (indeed, often has been) successful, as I do, then this is a reason to reject Naturalism. (shrink)
Two countervailing trends mark the intellectual tenor of our age the spread of naturalistic worldviews and religious orthodoxies. Advances in biogenetics, brain research, and robotics are clearing the way for the penetration of an objective scientific self-understanding of persons into everyday life. For philosophy, this trend is associated with the challenge of scientific naturalism. At the same time, we are witnessing an unexpected revitalization of religious traditions and the politicization of religious communities across the world. From a philosophical perspective, (...) this revival of religious energies poses the challenge of a fundamentalist critique of the principles underlying the modern Wests postmetaphysical understanding of itself. The tension between naturalism and religion is the central theme of this major new book by Jrgen Habermas. On the one hand he argues for an appropriate naturalistic understanding of cultural evolution that does justice to the normative character of the human mind. On the other hand, he calls for an appropriate interpretation of the secularizing effects of a process of social and cultural rationalization increasingly denounced by the champions of religious orthodoxies as a historical development peculiar to the West. These reflections on the enduring importance of religion and the limits of secularism under conditions of postmetaphysical reason set the scene for an extended treatment the political significance of religious tolerance and for a fresh contribution to current debates on cosmopolitanism and a constitution for international society. (shrink)
Since its original publication in 1979, The Possibility of Naturalism has been one of the most influential works in contemporary philosophy of science and social science. It is a cornerstone of the critical realist position, which is now widely seen as offering a viable alternative to move positivism and postmodernism. This revised edition includes a new foreword.
This paper discusses a wide range of anti-naturalistic argument from reason due to Balfour, Haldane, Joad, Lewis, Taylor, Moreland, Plantinga, Reppert, and Hasker. I argue that none of these arguments poses a serious challenge to naturalists who are identity theorists. Further, I argue that some of these arguments do not even pose prima facie plausible challenges to naturalism. In the concluding part of my discussion, I draw attention to some distinctive differences between Hasker’s anti-naturalistic arguments and the other anti-naturalistic (...) arguments mentioned above. (shrink)
Many philosophers these days consider themselves naturalists, but it's doubtful any two of them intend the same position by the term. In Second Philosophy, Penelope Maddy describes and practices a particularly austere form of naturalism called "Second Philosophy". Without a definitive criterion for what counts as "science" and what doesn't, Second Philosophy can't be specified directly ("trust only the methods of science" for example), so Maddy proceeds instead by illustrating the behaviors of an idealized inquirer she calls the "Second (...) Philosopher". mhis Second Philosopher begins from perceptual common sense experimentation, theory formation and testing, working all the while to asses, correct and improve her methods as she goes. Second Philosophy is then the result of the Second Philosopher's investigations. Maddy delineates the Second Philosopher's approach by tracing her reactions to various familiar skeptical and transcendental views (Descartes, Kant, Carnap, late Putnam, van Fraassen), comparing her methods to those of other self-described naturalists (especially Quine), and examining a prominent contemporary debate (between disquotationalists and correspondence theorists in the theory of truth) to extract a properly second-philosophical line of thought. She then undertakes to practice Second Philosophy in her reflections on the ground of logical truth, the methodology, ontology and epistemology of mathematics, and the general prospects for metaphysics naturalized. (shrink)
In _Phenomenology, Naturalism and Empirical Science_, Jack Reynolds takes the controversial position that phenomenology and naturalism are compatible, and develops a hybrid account of phenomenology and empirical science. Though phenomenology and naturalism are typically understood as philosophically opposed to one another, Reynolds argues that this resistance is based on an understanding of transcendental phenomenology that is ultimately untenable and in need of updating. Phenomenology, as Reynolds reorients it, is compatible with liberal naturalism, as well as with (...) weak forms of methodological naturalism. Chapters explore areas where scientific and phenomenological work overlap and sometimes conflict, contesting standard ways of understanding the relationship between phenomenological philosophy and empirical science. The book outlines the significance of the first-person perspective characteristic of phenomenology—both epistemically and ontologically—while according due respect to the relevant empirical sciences. This book makes a significant contribution to one of the central issues in phenomenology and argues for phenomenology’s ongoing importance for the future of philosophy. (shrink)
Naturalistic Hermeneutics proposes the position of the unity of the scientific method and defends it against the claim to autonomy of the human sciences. Mantzavinos shows how materials that are 'meaningful', more specifically human actions and texts, can be adequately dealt with by the hypothetico-deductive method, the standard method used in the natural sciences. The hermeneutic method is not an alternative method aimed at the understanding and the interpretation of human actions and texts, but it is the same as the (...) hypothetico-deductive method applied to meaningful materials. The central thesis advocated by Mantzavinos is, thus, that there is no fundamental methodological difference between natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Advanced students and professionals across philosophy, social and political theory, and the humanities will find this a compelling and controversial book. (shrink)
How can phenomenal consciousness exist as an integral part of a physical universe? How can the technicolour phenomenology of our inner lives be created out of the complex neural activities of our brains? Many have despaired of finding answers to these questions; and many have claimed that human consciousness is inherently mysterious. Peter Carruthers argues, on the contrary, that the subjective feel of our experience is fully explicable in naturalistic terms. Drawing on a variety of interdisciplinary resources, he develops and (...) defends a novel account in terms of higher-order thought. He shows that this can explain away some of the more extravagant claims made about phenomenal consciousness, while substantively explaining the key subjectivity of our experience. Written with characteristic clarity and directness, and surveying a wide range of extant theories, this book is essential reading for all those within philosophy and psychology interested in the problem of consciousness. (shrink)
In this précis I summarise the main ideas of my book Philosophy of Psychedelics. The book discusses philosophical issues arising from the therapeutic use of “classic” psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin and LSD. The book is organised around what I call the Comforting Delusion Objection to psychedelic therapy: the concern that this novel and promising treatment relies essentially on the induction of non-naturalistic metaphysical beliefs, rendering it epistemically objectionable. I begin the précis by summarizing material from chapters two and three (...) of the book, which review evidence for the therapeutic efficacy of psychedelics, and the facts about their clinical use that prompt the Comforting Delusion Objection. I then summarize materials from chapters four and five of the book, which argue that psychedelic therapy works neither by experience-independent processes of neuroplasticity, nor by inducing non-naturalistic metaphysical ideations, but by altering mental representations of the self. Next, I summarise the specific, speculative account of how this might work that is developed in chapters six and seven of the book. This account is based on the predictive processing theory of brain function and the self-binding theory of self-representation. Chapters eight and nine of the book argue, on the basis of this account, that psychedelic therapy can have significant epistemic and spiritual benefits that are compatible with a naturalistic worldview. I summarize this material, and then, finally, the overall conclusions about psychedelic therapy drawn in the tenth and final chapter of the book. (shrink)
The Philosophy of Psychiatry is a unique area of research because the nature of the subject matter leads to quite distinct methodological issues. Naturalism, Interpretation, and Mental Disorder is an original new work focusing on the challenges we face when trying to interpret and understand mental illness. The book integrates a hermeneutical perspective, and shows how such an approach can reveal important facts about historical sources in psychiatry and the nature of dialogue in the therapeutic encounter. In addition, the (...) book demonstrates how such an approach can be valuable for understanding the concept of mental disorder itself. Naturalism, Interpretation, and Mental Disorder brings fresh thinking to the philosophy of psychiatry, and will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of Mental Health and Philosophy. (shrink)
According to the scientific image, aesthetic experience is constituted by private reverie or mindless gratification of some kind. This image fails to fully acknowledge the theoretical and hence cultural aspect of perception, which includes aesthetic experience. This chapter reframes aesthetic reflective judgment in terms of perceptual processes (section 2); intentional pleasure (section 3); non-perceptually represented perceptual properties (section 4); and intersubjectivity (section 5). By clarifying the relevant terms, the liberal naturalist account of the sublime provides the link between the sublime (...) and moral motivation (section 6). (shrink)
The aim of this expository paper is to give an informal overview of a plausible naturalistic case for free will. I will describe what I take to be the main naturalistically motivated challenges for free will and respond to them by presenting an indispensability argument for free will. The argument supports the reality of free will as an emergent higher-level phenomenon. I will also explain why the resulting picture of free will does not conflict with the possibility that the fundamental (...) laws of nature are deterministic, and I will address some common objections. (shrink)
Many philosophical naturalists eschew analysis in favor of discovering metaphysical truths from the a posteriori, contending that analysis does not lead to philosophical insight. A countercurrent to this approach seeks to reconcile a certain account of conceptual analysis with philosophical naturalism; prominent and influential proponents of this methodology include the late David Lewis, Frank Jackson, Michael Smith, Philip Pettit, and David Armstrong. Naturalistic analysis is a tool for locating in the scientifically given world objects and properties we quantify over (...) in everyday discourse. This collection gathers work from a range of prominent philosophers who are working within this tradition, offering important new work as well as critical evaluations of the methodology. Its centerpiece is an important posthumous paper by David Lewis, "Ramseyan Humility," published here for the first time. The contributors first address issues of philosophy of mind, semantics, and the new methodology's a priori character, then turn to matters of metaphysics, and finally consider problems regarding normativity. Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism is one of the first efforts to apply this approach to such a wide range of philosophical issues. _Contributors: _David Braddon-Mitchell, Mark Colyvan, Frank Jackson, Justine Kingsbury, Fred Kroon, David Lewis, Dustin Locke, Kelby Mason, Jonathan McKeown-Green, Peter Menzies, Robert Nola, Daniel Nolan, Philip Pettit, Huw Price, Denis Robinson, Steve Stich, Daniel Stoljar The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket. (shrink)
_Naturalism_ provides a rigorous analysis and critique of the major varieties of contemporary philosophical naturalism. The authors advocate the thesis that contemporary naturalism should be abandoned, in light of the serious objections raised against it. Contributors draw on a wide range of topics including: epistemology, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of mind and agency, and natural theology.
This book guides readers through an investigation of religion from a naturalistic perspective and explores the very meaning of the term ‘religious naturalism’. Oppy considers several widely disputed claims: that there cannot be naturalistic religion; that there is nothing in science that poses any problems for naturalism; that there is nothing in religion that poses any serious challenges to naturalism; and that there is a very strong case for thinking that naturalism defeats religion. -/- Naturalism (...) and Religion: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation is an ideal introduction for undergraduate and postgraduate students of religious studies and philosophy who want to gain an understanding of the key themes and claims of naturalism from a religious and philosophical perspective. (shrink)
The following scenario seems possible: a community uses concepts that play the same role in guiding actions and shaping social life as our normative concepts, and yet refer to something else. As Eklund (2017) argues, this apparent possibility poses a problem for any normative realist who aspires to vindicate the thought that reality itself favors our ways of valuing and acting. A promising approach to this challenge is to try to rule out the possibility of alternative normative concepts, by arguing (...) that any concepts that have the same normative role must share a reference as well. (Eklund calls this "referential normativity".) In this paper I argue that normative quasi-naturalism, a view that combines expressivism about normative discourse with a naturalist metaphysics of normativity, supports referential normativity and solves the problem of alternative normative concepts. (shrink)
Craig and Moreland present a rigorous analysis and critique of the major varieties of contemporary philosophical naturalism and advocate that it should be abandoned in light of the serious difficulties raised against it. The contributors draw on a wide range of topics including: epistemology, philosophy of science, value theory to basic analytic ontology, philosophy of mind and agency, and natural theology.
The work of the American philosopher Wilfrid Sellars continues to have a significant impact on the contemporary philosophical scene. His writings have influenced major thinkers such as Rorty, McDowell, Brandom, and Dennett, and many of Sellars basic conceptions, such as the logical space of reasons, the myth of the given, and the manifest and scientific images, have become standard philosophical terms. Often, however, recent uses of these terms do not reflect the richness or the true sense of Sellars original ideas. (...) This book gets to the heart of Sellars philosophy and provides students with a comprehensive critical introduction to his lifes work. The book is structured around what Sellars himself regarded as the philosophers overarching task: to achieve a coherent vision of reality that will finally overcome the continuing clashes between the world as common sense takes it to be and the world as science reveals it to be. It provides a clear analysis of Sellars groundbreaking philosophy of mind, his novel theory of consciousness, his defense of scientific realism, and his thoroughgoing naturalism with a normative turn. Providing a lively examination of Sellars work through the central problem of what it means to be a human being in a scientific world, this book will be a valuable resource for all students of philosophy. (shrink)
This study addresses a central theme in current philosophy: Platonism vs Naturalism and provides accounts of both approaches to mathematics, crucially discussing Quine, Maddy, Kitcher, Lakoff, Colyvan, and many others. Beginning with accounts of both approaches, Brown defends Platonism by arguing that only a Platonistic approach can account for concept acquisition in a number of special cases in the sciences. He also argues for a particular view of applied mathematics, a view that supports Platonism against Naturalist alternatives. Not only (...) does this engaging book present the Platonist-Naturalist debate over mathematics in a comprehensive fashion, but it also sheds considerable light on non-mathematical aspects of a dispute that is central to contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
The present paper discusses different approaches to metaphysics and defends a specific, non-deflationary approach that nevertheless qualifies as scientifically-grounded and, consequently, as acceptable from the naturalistic viewpoint. By critically assessing some recent work on science and metaphysics, we argue that such a sophisticated form of naturalism, which preserves the autonomy of metaphysics as an a priori enterprise yet pays due attention to the indications coming from our best science, is not only workable but recommended.
Science and its philosophical companion, Naturalism, represent reality in wholly nonpersonal terms. How, if at all, can a nonpersonal scheme accommodate the first-person perspective that we all enjoy? In this volume, Lynne Rudder Baker explores that question by considering both reductive and eliminative approaches to the first-person perspective. After finding both approaches wanting, she mounts an original constructive argument to show that a non-Cartesian first-person perspective belongs in the basic inventory of what exists. That is, the world that contains (...) us persons is irreducibly personal.After arguing for the irreducibilty and ineliminability of the first-person perspective, Baker develops a theory of this perspective. The first-person perspective has two stages, rudimentary and robust. Human infants and nonhuman animals with consciousness and intentionality have rudimentary first-person perspectives. In learning a language, a person acquires a robust first-person perspective: the capacity to conceive of oneself as oneself, in the first person. By developing an account of personal identity, Baker argues that her theory is coherent, and she shows various ways in which first-person perspectives contribute to reality. (shrink)
This volume brings together fourteen major essays by one of contemporary philosophy's most challenging thinkers. Huw Price links themes from Quine, Carnap, Wittgenstein and Rorty, to craft a powerful critique of contemporary naturalistic metaphysics. He offers a new positive program for philosophy, cast from a pragmatist mould.
In this book, Rachel Zuckert provides the first overarching account of Johann Gottfried Herder's complex aesthetic theory. She guides the reader through Herder's texts, showing how they relate to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European philosophy of art, and focusing on two main concepts: aesthetic naturalism, the view that art is natural to and naturally valuable for human beings as organic, embodied beings, and - unusually for Herder's time - aesthetic pluralism, the view that aesthetic value takes many diverse and culturally (...) varying forms. Zuckert argues that Herder's theory plays a pivotal role in the history of philosophical aesthetics, marking the transition from the eighteenth-century focus on aesthetic value as grounded in human nature to the nineteenth-century focus on art as socially significant and historically variable. Her study illuminates Herder's significance as an innovative thinker in aesthetics, and will interest a range of readers in philosophy of art and European thought. (shrink)
This chapter argues that the best way for a non-naturalist to explain why the normative supervenes on the natural is to claim that, while there are some sui generis normative properties whose essences cannot be fully specified in non-normative terms and do not specify any non-normative sufficient conditions for their instantiation, there are certain hybrid normative properties whose essences specify both naturalistic sufficient conditions for their own instantiation and sufficient conditions for the instantiation of certain sui generis normative properties. This (...) is the only metaphysical explanation for supervenience on offer, the chapter argues, that can both clearly maintain the pre-theoretical commitments of non-naturalism, and provide a metaphysical explanation not just for supervenience, but for all metaphysical necessities involving natural and normative properties. (shrink)
Normative naturalism is a view about the status of epistemology and philosophy of science; it is a meta-epistemology. It maintains that epistemology can both discharge its traditional normative role and nonetheless claim a sensitivity to empirical evidence. The first sections of this essay set out the central tenets of normative naturalism, both in its epistemic and its axiological dimensions; later sections respond to criticisms of that species of naturalism from Gerald Doppelt, Jarrett Leplin and Alex Rosenberg.
Normativity concerns what we ought to think or do and the evaluations we make. For example, we say that we ought to think consistently, we ought to keep our promises, or that Mozart is a better composer than Salieri. Yet what philosophical moral can we draw from the apparent absence of normativity in the scientific image of the world? For scientific naturalists, the moral is that the normative must be reduced to the nonnormative, while for nonnaturalists, the moral is that (...) there must be a transcendent realm of norms. _Naturalism and Normativity_ engages with both sides of this debate. Essays explore philosophical options for understanding normativity in the space between scientific naturalism and Platonic supernaturalism. They articulate a liberal conception of philosophy that is neither reducible to the sciences nor completely independent of themyet one that maintains the right to call itself naturalism. Contributors think in new ways about the relations among the scientific worldview, our experience of norms and values, and our movements in the space of reason. Detailed discussions include the relationship between philosophy and science, physicalism and ontological pluralism, the realm of the ordinary, objectivity and subjectivity, truth and justification, and the liberal naturalisms of Donald Davidson, John Dewey, John McDowell, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. (shrink)
Normative naturalism is primarily a metaphysical doctrine: there are normative facts and properties, and these fall into the class of natural facts and properties. Many objections to naturalism rely on additional assumptions about language or thought, but often without adequate consideration of just how normative properties would have to figure in our thought and talk if naturalism were true. In the first part of the paper, I explain why naturalists needn’t think that normative properties can be represented (...) or ascribed in wholly non-normative terms. If so, certain prominent objections to normative naturalism fail. In the second part, I consider the objection that normative properties are “just too different” from (other) natural properties to themselves be natural properties. I argue that naturalists have no distinctive trouble making sense of thought and talk involving forms of “genuine” or “authoritative” normativity which can drive a non-question-begging form of the objection. (shrink)
This volume considers in depth and carefully a cluster of issues central to contemporary philosophical and social scientific investigation while utilising methods and conceptualisations at the very cutting edge of philosophy.
In this comprehensive assessment of Kant's metaethics, Frederick Rauscher shows that Kant is a moral idealist rather than a moral realist and argues that Kant's ethics does not require metaphysical commitments that go beyond nature. Rauscher frames the argument in the context of Kant's non-naturalistic philosophical method and the character of practical reason as action-oriented. Reason operates entirely within nature, and apparently non-natural claims - God, free choice, and value - are shown to be heuristic and to reflect reason's ordering (...) of nature. The book shows how Kant hesitates between a transcendental moral idealism with an empirical moral realism and a complete moral idealism. Examining every aspect of Kant's ethics, from the categorical imperative to freedom and value, this volume argues that Kant's focus on human moral agency explains morality as a part of nature. It will appeal to academic researchers and advanced students of Kant, German idealism and intellectual history. (shrink)
Part I: The birth of religious naturalism -- Philosophical religious naturalism -- Theological religious naturalism -- Analyzing the issues -- Interlude religious naturalism in literature -- Part II: The rebirth of religious naturalism -- Sources of religious insight -- Current issues in religious naturalism -- Other current religious naturalists -- Conclusion: Living religiously as a naturalist.
In this important book, Drew Khlentzos explains the antirealist argument from a realist perspective. He defends naturalistic realism against the antirealist challenge, and he considers the consequences of his defense for our understanding of realism and truth. Khlentzos argues that the naturalistic realist view that the world exists independently of the mind must take into consideration what he calls the representation problem: if the naturalistic realist view is true, how can mental representation of the world be explained?He examines this major (...) antirealist challenge in detail and shows that many realists have dismissed it because they have not understood its nature. He sees it as a philosophical puzzle: the antirealist challenge, if sound, does not prove that there are no objects that exist independently of the mind, but that there is no rational basis for thinking that there are; we have good reason to believe in the naturalistic view, but we have no way of knowing how it could be true. Khlentzos surveys the antirealist arguments of Michael Dummett, Hilary Putnam, and Crispin Wright and suggests a realist answer. He argues for a radically nonepistemic conception of truth, and against pragmatist, intuitionist, verificationist, and pluralist alternatives. He examines and rejects some current versions of physicalism and functionalism, and offers an original version of the correspondence theory of truth. (shrink)
This article reviews the transition between post-Fregean anti-naturalistic epistemology and contemporary naturalistic epistemologies. It traces the revival of naturalism to Quine’s critique of the "a priori", and Kuhn’s defense of historicism, and use the arguments of Quine and Kuhn to identify a position, "traditional naturalism", that combines naturalistic themes with the claim that epistemology is a normative enterprise. Pleas for more radical versions of naturalism are articulated, and briefly confronted.
C.D. Broad pointed out that philosophy in the Twentieth Century radically reduced its scope by contracting the methods it deployed. While traditionally philosophers had used analysis, synopsis and synthesis to reveal and overcome the inconsistencies of culture, critical philosophers reduced the role accorded to synopsis and eliminated any role for synthesis. This, it is argued, was a disastrous wrong turn that has led philosophers to embrace scientism, equated with naturalism, which has marginalized and reduced to irrelevance not only most (...) of philosophy, but most of the humanities. Showing how such philosophy evolved from one branch of neo-Kantian philosophy, it is argued there was no reason to constrict philosophy in this way. An alternative, more fruitful but largely misrepresented and submerged tradition of philosophical naturalism deriving from Kant is identified, a tradition which can best be characterized as “speculative naturalism”. This tradition, unlike the tradition of analytic philosophy, has made major contributions to science, and is allying science and the humanities. As Michail Epstein pointed out, while the practical outcome of natural science is technology, the practical outcome of the humanities is the transformation of culture, and ourselves. It is central to the creation of the future. Philosophy associated with speculative naturalism promises to play a major role in the transformation of culture required to overcome the current global ecological crisis. It could provide the foundation for a new “ecological civilization”. (shrink)
The American way of Renaissance and the Humanistic Tradition of Greece -- The Aristotelian tradition in American naturalism -- George Santayana and Greek philosophy -- Frederick J.E. Woodbridge and the Aristotelian tradition -- John Dewey and ancient philosophies -- John H. Randall Jr.'s interpretation of Greek philosophy -- The ontology of Herbert W. Schneider -- Ernest Nagel's pragmatism and Aristotle's principle of contradiction -- The naturalistic metaphysics of Justus Buchler -- Naturalism and the platonic tradition.
_Naturalism and the Human Condition_ is a compelling account of why naturalism, or the 'scientific world-view' cannot provide a full account of who and what we are as human beings. Drawing on sources including Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl and Sartre, Olafson exposes the limits of naturalism and stresses the importance of serious philosophical investigation of human nature.
The term ‘naturalism’ has no very precise meaning in contemporary philosophy. Its current usage derives from debates in America in the first half of the last century. The self-proclaimed ‘naturalists’ from that period included John Dewey, Ernest Nagel, Sidney Hook and Roy Wood Sellars. These philosophers aimed to ally philosophy more closely with science. They urged that reality is exhausted by nature, containing nothing ‘supernatural’, and that the scientific method should be used to investigate all areas of reality, including (...) the ‘human spirit’ (Krikorian 1944, Kim 2003). (shrink)
_Hume's Naturalism_ provides a clear and concise guide to the debates over whether Hume's empiricism or his 'naturalism' in the tradition of the Scottish 'Common Sense' school of philosophy gained his upper hand. This debate is central to any understanding of Hume's thought. H.O. Mounce presents a beautifully clear guide to Hume's most important works, _The Treatise on Human Nature_ and _Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion_. Accessible to anyone coming to Hume for the first time, _Hume's Naturalism_ affords a much (...) needed overview of the key concepts of empiricism, causation, scepticism, reason and morality that are essential to any understanding of Hume's philosophy. (shrink)
Many contemporary Anglo-American philosophers describe themselves as naturalists. But what do they mean by that term? Popular naturalist slogans like, "there is no first philosophy" or "philosophy is continuous with the natural sciences" are far from illuminating. "Understanding Naturalism" provides a clear and readable survey of the main strands in recent naturalist thought. The origin and development of naturalist ideas in epistemology, metaphysics and semantics is explained through the works of Quine, Goldman, Kuhn, Chalmers, Papineau, Millikan and others. The (...) most common objections to the naturalist project - that it involves a change of subject and fails to engage with "real" philosophical problems, that it is self-refuting, and that naturalism cannot deal with normative notions like truth, justification and meaning - are all discussed. "Understanding Naturalism" distinguishes two strands of naturalist thinking - the constructive and the deflationary - and explains how this distinction can invigorate naturalism and the future of philosophical research. (shrink)
Normative cognition seems rather important, even ineliminable. Communities that lack normative concepts like SHOULD, IS A REASON TO, JUSTIFIES, etc. seem cognitively handicapped and communicatively muzzled. And yet a popular metaethic, normative naturalism, has a hard time accommodating this felt ineliminability. Here, I press the argument against normative naturalism, consider some replies on behalf of normative naturalists, and suggest that a version of sophisticated subjectivism does the best job preserving the importance and ineliminability of the special, normative way (...) of thinking. (shrink)