The World in Order

Lorraine Daston

in Without Nature?

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230693
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237227 | DOI:
The World in Order

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This chapter reopens the question of norms from nature, presenting an argument that is both historical and philosophical. Historically, it shows how various conceptions of natural order not only have sustained specific norms—both moral and aesthetic—but have moreover served as the model for what a norm, any norm, can be. Philosophically, it argues that the appeals to nature, though often and rightly criticized, nonetheless do capture something profound about values in general, regardless of their specific content. This argument hinges on the connection between normativity and order. The chapter concludes that we cannot do without nature, even if we divest nature of all divine authority whatsoever.

Keywords: nature; natural order; norms; values; normativity; order

Chapter.  8195 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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