Chapter

Natural Goodness and ‘Second Nature’

Angus Ritchie

in From Morality to Metaphysics

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652518
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745850 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652518.003.0007
Natural Goodness and ‘Second Nature’

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This chapter examines John McDowell's ‘re-enchanted’ naturalism; a position that builds on Foot's and seeks to answer the objection advanced in Chapter 5. After offering an exposition of McDowell's wider position, the chapter defends the legitimacy of a demand for an explanation of the reliability of human moral cognition against McDowell's quietism. It seeks to demonstrate both that an explanation is required, and that McDowell cannot provide one. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of David Wiggins' weaker conception of objectivity in ethics. It argues that Wiggins' position offers further confirmation of the central thesis of the book: that the explanatory gap is only evaded by positions which fail to do justice to our pre-philosophical commitments.

Keywords: aristotelianism; ethical naturalism; moral realism; Mcdowell; Wiggins; subjectivism

Chapter.  12703 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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