Strawson's Ethical Naturalism: A Defense


I first present what Peter Strawson calls his “Social Naturalism,” as applied to ethics. I then briefly present the way in which his Naturalism allows Strawson to resist skepticism about moral responsibility and free will, as argued in “Freedom and Resentment.” His way of resisting this kind of skepticism opens his Naturalism to another challenge: it can seem objectionably relativistic. I have provided a response to this challenge, on Strawson’s behalf, in the final chapter of my _Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals_ (2020). In this paper I expand upon that response—in particular, on the way in which the introduction of admittedly contested ideals might provide sufficient critical purchase to avoid objectionable relativism while remaining broadly naturalistic.

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Pamela Hieronymi
University of California, Los Angeles


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