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On What MattersVolume Three$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778608.001.0001

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Railton’s Defence of Soft Naturalism

Railton’s Defence of Soft Naturalism

Chapter:
(p.91) 41 Railton’s Defence of Soft Naturalism
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Derek Parfit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778608.003.0006

This chapter provides a counterpoint to arguments from the previous chapters. One such argument is that naturalists cannot defend their view by appealing to scientific analogies, such as the fact that heat is molecular kinetic energy. The chapter maintains that Soft naturalists cannot defend their claim that, though true normative beliefs would be about natural facts, these beliefs would help us to make good decisions and to act well. In answering this statement, the chapter suggests that these naturalists might appeal to the complex roles or job descriptions that certain natural properties might fulfil. The chapter, however, argues that this reply to the Triviality Objection does not succeed.

Keywords:   soft naturalism, naturalism, triviality objection, natural facts, scientific analogies, true normative beliefs

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