Normative Ethics after Pragmatic Naturalism
Metaphilosophy, Vol. 45, No. 3, July 2014
29 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016 Last revised: 11 May 2016
Date Written: 2014
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
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