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Flashcards in Naturalism Deck (14)
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Define Naturalism

The claim that ‘good’ describes a natural quality, such as pleasure.
Therefore overcoming the gap between nature and ethics.
A cognitive approach, there are moral facts and they can be known through observation and reason.


Hedonic naturalism

What is good is what brings about maximum pleasure.
Bentham - ‘Mankind has been placed under two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure’
‘We are pleasure seekers’


Naturalism Strength: Rationality in discussion

The moral objectivism, within naturalism, allows claims to be verified as true or false.
As well as being discussed rationally.
Despite no evidence or proof, basing ethics on features that can be reasoned is successful.


Naturalism Strength: Rejecting Naturalism risks...

Rejecting moral claims for opinions risks Nihilism.
Whilst affirming Naturalism can motivate protests against injustice and form a basis for natural rights.


Naturalism Strength: Ethics is far too important to be reduced to...

Simply emotions and opinions.
There are moral truths and they can be discussed rationally.
E.g. Nothingness, no objective values or truths - Leads to ‘anything goes’


Naturalism Strength: Naturalism provides...

Strong foundations for resolving ethical arguments.


Naturalism Strength: Naturalism facilitates progress.

Ethical Naturalism describes real things and facilitates progress.
E.g. Attitudes gave changed on racism, sexism etc.
There is a moral standard, and society progresses towards Good.


Naturalism Weakness: What is the standard?

All ethical naturalists disagree between themselves.


Naturalism Weakness: Theological Naturalists have completely varied morals.

Compared to ethical naturalists there is complete disagreement.


Naturalism Weakness: Is ought problem

Hume: We cant move from factual ‘is’ statements to Value ‘ought’ statements.
The fact-value gap cannot be bridged by drawing ethical conclusions from non-ethical premises.


Naturalism Weakness: Naturalisms sense of moral knowledge is an assumption?

It is difficult to convince a skeptic that moral knowledge can be found in nature.
Maybe we should just live within or limits of what we know for certain.


Naturalism Weakness: It reduces good and evil

Naturalism reduces ‘good’ and ‘evil’ to psychological states.
Such as pain and pleasure.


Naturalism Weakness: Naturalistic Fallacy

It’s a mistake to define good.
E.g. Good is pleasure, happiness, following god.
god is not a natural quality it is indefinable


Moral Realism

It is a moral realist theory.
The belief that right and wrong actually exist, they are real properties.