Why Care About Non-Natural Reasons?

American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2):125-134 (2019)
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Are non-natural properties worth caring about? I consider two objections to metaethical non-naturalism. According to the intelligibility objection, it would be positively unintelligible to care about non-natural properties that float free from the causal fabric of the cosmos. According to the ethical idlers objection, there is no compelling motivation to posit non-natural normative properties because the natural properties suffice to provide us with reasons. In both cases, I argue, the objection stems from misunderstanding the role that non-natural properties play in the non-naturalist's understanding of normativity. The role of non-natural properties is not to be responded to, but to "mark" which natural properties it is correct for us to respond to in certain ways.

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Richard Y. Chappell
University of Miami


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