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Spheres of ReasonNew Essays in the Philosophy of Normativity$
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Simon Robertson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572939

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572939.001.0001

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Reasons and the New Non‐Naturalism

Reasons and the New Non‐Naturalism

(p.164) 7 Reasons and the New Non‐Naturalism
Spheres of Reason

Jonas Olson

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on two recent trends in meta-ethics. One is the revival of non-naturalistic realism. The other is the preoccupation with reasons. The two trends are not unconnected. The renewed interest in non-naturalism seems to have gained fuel from the preoccupation with reasons. The chapter distinguishes old and new non-naturalism. Old non-naturalism places intrinsic goodness at the normative centre stage; new non-naturalism places the notion of a reason at the normative centre stage. There is a presentiment about that new non-naturalism's shift of focus from intrinsic goodness to reasons promises to make non-naturalism more credible. It is argued that this line of thinking involves an ‘extensional fallacy’. Unmasking the fallacy reveals that the notion of a reason is no less problematic than the notion of intrinsic goodness, and that the supervenience of the normative on the natural is no less problematic for new non-naturalism than for old non-naturalism.

Keywords:   extensional fallacy, intrinsic goodness, non-naturalism, reasons, supervenience

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