Normative Ethics after Pragmatic Naturalism

Metaphilosophy, Vol. 45, No. 3, July 2014

29 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016 Last revised: 11 May 2016

See all articles by Alex Sager

Alex Sager

Portland State University

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Philip Kitcher presents an ambitious account of pragmatic naturalism that incorporates an explanatory story of the emergence and development of ethics, a metaethical perspective on progress, and a normative stance for moral theorizing. This article contends that Kitcher’s normative stance is incompatible with the explanatory and metaethical components of his project. Instead, pragmatic naturalists should endorse a normative ethics that is experimental, grounded in practice, and acutely aware of cognitive and informational limitations. In particular, the ethical project would benefit from endorsing empirical work on participatory democracy for the identification of mechanisms to guide us on deep moral conflicts.

Keywords: Applied Philosophy; Ethical Project; John Dewey; Moral Naturalism; Participatory Democracy; Philip Kitcher; Pragmatism; Reconstruction in Philosophy

Suggested Citation

Sager, Alexander, Normative Ethics after Pragmatic Naturalism (2014). Metaphilosophy, Vol. 45, No. 3, July 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2777199

Alexander Sager (Contact Author)

Portland State University ( email )

PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207
United States

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