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From Morality to MetaphysicsThe Theistic Implications of our Ethical Commitments$
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Angus Ritchie

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199652518

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652518.001.0001

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Natural Goodness and ‘Second Nature’

Natural Goodness and ‘Second Nature’

John McDowell and David Wiggins

Chapter:
(p.126) 6 Natural Goodness and ‘Second Nature’
Source:
From Morality to Metaphysics
Author(s):

Angus Ritchie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652518.003.0007

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

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