Who’s Afraid of the Naturalistic Fallacy?
Oliver Curry, Centre Research Associate, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of
Economics, UK WC2A 2AE, UK; Email: o.s.cu...@lse.ac.uk.

Abstract: David Hume argued that values are the projections of natural human 
desires, and that
moral values are the projections of desires that aim at the common good of 
society. Recent
developments in game theory, evolutionary biology, animal behaviour and 
neuroscience explain
why humans have such desires, and hence provide support for a Humean approach 
to moral
psychology and moral philosophy. However, few philosophers have been willing to 
pursue this
naturalistic approach to ethics for fear that it commits something called ‘the naturalistic fallacy’. This paper reviews several versions of the fallacy, and demonstrates that none of them present an
obstacle to this updated, evolutionary version of Humean ethical naturalism.

http://www.epjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/ep04234247.pdf

Brent

On 8/18/2012 8:08 AM, Roger wrote:
Hi Bruno Marchal
This is probably just my ignorance of what comp is, but there seems to
be a discrepancy between comp, which fits with Plato or Platonism,
and real life, which actually fits more with Aristotle. Plato is
"ought to be" and Aristotle is "is in fact".
There is a troubling dualism between the two, that while we live in the
Kingdom of Earth, we strive for the Kingdom of Heaven
("thy Kingdom come.).
This is unreconciliable dualism Hume pointed out between
"is" and "should be".  He said he knew of no way to go from
"is" to "should be". Hume is a great prose stylist and thinker
so ihe's worth quoting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem

Hume discusses the problem in book III, part I, section I of his work, /A Treatise of Human Nature <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Treatise_of_Human_Nature>/ (1739):

    In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always 
remarked,
    that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, 
and
    establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human 
affairs; when
    all of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual 
copulations of
    propositions, /is/, and /is not/, I meet with no proposition that is not 
connected
    with an /ought/, or an /ought not/. This change is imperceptible; but is 
however, of
    the last consequence. For as this /ought/, or /ought not/, expresses some 
new
    relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and 
explained;
    and at the same time that a reason should be given; for what seems 
altogether
    inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which 
are
    entirely different from it. But as authors do not commonly use this 
precaution, I
    shall presume to recommend it to the readers; and am persuaded, that this 
small
    attention would subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, 
that the
    distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of 
objects,
    nor is perceived by reason.^[1]
    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem#cite_note-0>

Hume calls for caution against such inferences in the absence of any explanation of how the ought-statements follow from the is-statements. But how exactly /can/ an "ought" be derived from an "is"? The question, prompted by Hume's small paragraph, has become one of the central questions of ethical theory, and Hume is usually assigned the position that such a derivation is impossible.^[2] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem#cite_note-1> This complete severing of "is" from "ought" has been given the graphic designation of *Hume's Guillotine*.^[3] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem#cite_note-Max_Black-2>


    Implications

The apparent gap between "is" statements and "ought" statements, when combined with Hume's fork <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hume%27s_fork>, renders "ought" statements of dubious validity. Hume's fork is the idea that all items of knowledge are either based on logic and definitions, or else on observation. If the is–ought problem holds, then "ought" statements do not seem to be known in either of these two ways, and it would seem that there can be no moral knowledge. Moral skepticism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_skepticism> and non-cognitivism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-cognitivism> work with such conclusions.

The is–ought problem has been recognised as an important issue for the validity of secular ethics <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_ethics> and their defense from criticism—often religiously <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion> inspired.^[4] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem#cite_note-3>

Roger , rclo...@verizon.net <mailto:rclo...@verizon.net>
8/18/2012
Leibniz would say, "If there's no God, we'd have to invent him so everything could function."

    ----- Receiving the following content -----
    *From:* Bruno Marchal <mailto:marc...@ulb.ac.be>
    *Receiver:* everything-list <mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com>
    *Time:* 2012-08-18, 10:10:58
    *Subject:* Re: Descartes and the turf war between science and religion


    On 18 Aug 2012, at 15:35, Roger wrote:

    IMHO
    Religion deals with the unchanging Kingdom of Heaven: the eternal logic of 
Plato,
    final causes. Eternal truth,
    not contingent facts. Either and always Yes or No.

    Whoa! You are close to Platonism. Nice (with respect to comp).



    Science  deals with the Kingdom of Earth: the contingent world of Aristotle 
and Lebniz.
    Contingent facts, not eternal truth. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    I can be OK with that. We can be more precise by postulating comp, as many
    contingency become absolutely contingent. In particular the computational 
states
    become necessarily contingent. We have
    p-> []<>p (p -> necessary possible p): it makes the accessibility relation 
among
    worlds symmetrical, and something physical is something repeatable in 
principles.

    For a modal logician, Kripke is a big progress on Leibniz, because Kripke
    relativizes the modalities to the 'actual world'. Leibniz always works 
implicitly in
    _one_ modal logic (known as S5). S5 is the only modal logic which cannot be
    interpreted in arithmetic, at least not in the self-referential approach to 
cognition.

    There are billions (even a continuum to be exact) of modal logic. Each 
defines its
    o<n notion of contingence and necessity. But both Aristotle, and Leibniz 
(and even G
    鰀el, arguably) single out S5. More on this later perhaps.

    Bruno



    The other remarks of yours are mankind's mistaken views of both.
    ----- Have received the following content -----
    *Sender:* Bruno Marchal <mailto:marc...@ulb.ac.be>
    *Receiver:* everything-list <mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com>
    *Time:* 2012-08-18, 06:26:11
    *Subject:* Re: Descartes and the turf war between science and religion


    On 17 Aug 2012, at 21:06, meekerdb wrote:

    On 8/17/2012 11:32 AM, Roger wrote:
    Hi guys,
    Regarding Descartes.....
    There has always been, and still is, a turf war between science and 
religion,
    each wanting to claim superiority over the other. And there's a bit of fear
    because most people believe that there's only one truth or that truth comes 
in
    only one form,
    either in science or in the Bible.

    WHOA! Talk about parochial.  I guess Roger hasn't heard of the Quran, the 
Tao, the
    Eightfold Way, Dianetics, Wicca, the Torah,...

    The interesting thing is that wars are fought over divine TRUTHs, be not 
over
    scientific knowledge.

    It is the same, as you can see through history. Just that scientific 
knowledge
    impose itself in the shorter run than fundamental knowledge.

    Science is just an attitude of modesty, religion is the belief that, not 
science,
    but what science tries to handle, makes sense, and it motivates 
(fundamental) research.

    Of course humans, and even nature, perverts science and religion all the 
time for
    reason of dishonest selfish special local short term interests. That's part 
of life.

    Bruno

    http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ <http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/%7Emarchal/>




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