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Natural Justice$
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Ken Binmore

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195178111

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195178111.001.0001

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Battle of the Isms

Battle of the Isms

(p.37) Chapter 3 Battle of the Isms
Natural Justice

Ken Binmore (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the calumnies that are commonly directed at moral naturalists. Philosophical rationalism is compared unfavorably with the empirical tradition by drawing attention to the inadequacies in the reasoning that supposedly leads to Kant's categorical imperative. Moral naturalism is defended on the same basis as biological naturalism. Moral relativism — the big no-no for metaphysical moralists — is defended against a variety of common criticisms; reductionism gets the same treatment. Finally, the life of David Hume is advanced as a counter-example to those who feel that naturalism is necessarily dehumanizing or dispiriting.

Keywords:   empiricism, categorical imperative, naturalism, tabula rasa, relativism, reductionism

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