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By Kelly James Clark

The Blackwell better half to Naturalism presents a scientific creation to philosophical naturalism and its relation to different colleges of thought.

  • Features contributions from a world array of validated and rising students from around the humanities
  • Explores the old improvement of naturalism and its ascension to the dominant orthodoxy within the Western academy
  • Juxtaposes theoretical criticisms with impassioned defenses, encapsulating modern debates on naturalism
  • Includes discussions of metaphysics, realism, feminism, technology, wisdom, fact, arithmetic, unfastened will, and ethics considered via a naturalist lens

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In the following passage from The Descent of Man, Darwin suggests the general form that an adequate genealogy of morals might take: In order that primeval men, or the ape‐like progenitors of man, should become social…they must have acquired the same instinctive feelings…They would have felt uneasy when s­ eparated from their comrades, for whom they would have felt some degree of love, they would have warned each other of danger, and have given mutual aid in attack or defence. , which during earlier times are…utterly disregarded come to be highly esteemed or even held sacred…Ultimately our moral sense or conscience 13 See, for example, Wegner (2002).

Railton believes moral imperatives apply even to those who have no reason to follow them, because rationality is not a precondition of moral obligation. This represents one way of introducing categoricity that is different from our own approach. Railton uses a similar tactic to evade nihilism. 30 Flanagan , S arkissian, an d Wong Ethics Naturalized: Pluralism and Human Ecology We close with Dewey’s insight that “Moral science is not something with a separate p ­ rovince. It is physical, biological, and historic knowledge placed in a humane context where it will illuminate and guide the activities of men” (1922, 204–205).

More obviously, normative epistemology will not be part of psychology, for it involves the gathering together of norms of inference, belief, and knowing that lead to success in ordinary reasoning and in science. And the evolved canons of inductive and deductive logic, statistics, and probability theory most certainly do not describe actual human reasoning practices. , principles governing representative sampling and warnings about affirming the consequent) come from abstracting successful epistemic practices from unsuccessful ones.

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