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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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Gibbard’s Offer to Non-Naturalists

Gibbard’s Offer to Non-Naturalists

Chapter:
(p.87) 40 Gibbard’s Offer to Non-Naturalists
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Derek Parfit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778608.003.0005

This chapter discusses the claim that, if it were true that we ought to do something just when this act would maximize net pleasure, the concepts ought and would maximize net pleasure would refer to the same property. If these properties were one and the same, that would both tell us what we ought to do and explain why we ought to do these things. The chapter shows how this claim is not a defence of normative naturalism. On the contrary, such a claim helps non-naturalists by suggesting how these people could explain and defend their view. Hence, even if normative concepts referred in the co-extensional sense to natural properties, these concepts can be used to think irreducibly normative thoughts, which might be about irreducibly normative truths.

Keywords:   normative naturalism, soft naturalism, normative concepts, natural properties, normative thoughts, normative truths

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