Accretions and Methods

Thomas Hurka

in Perfectionism

Published in print June 1996 | ISBN: 9780195101164
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833276 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series

Accretions and Methods

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Many formulations of narrow perfectionism supplement the basic ideal of developing human nature with further claims about reality, freedom, desire, and, especially, teleology. This chapter argues that these claims are unhelpful accretions that should be set aside; doing so simplifies the theory and saves it from needless objections. The chapter also argues that perfectionism should reject metaethical naturalism, the view that claims about human nature entail claims about value. Instead, it presents itself as a substantive moral view, to be defended by substantive argument. The chapter concludes by discussing the epistemology of essential properties, arguing that they can be discovered either through intuition about thought‐experiments or by examining explanatory theories.

Keywords: essence; explanation; human nature; intuition; metaethics; naturalism; perfectionism; reality; teleology

Chapter.  7197 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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