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Ethical Naturalism and the Meaning of “Good”

Xuan Mei

Article ID: 1248
Vol 3, Issue 1, 2021, Article identifier:39-51

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How to explicate the meaning of “good” is a classic philosophical question, one reason is that “good” has metaphysical properties which are difficult to interpret. The development of ethical naturalism opens a door to answer the “good” question. This theory proposes to view the moral world and the natural world as a continuum, in that the moral world is built on the basis of the natural one. This study aims to introduce a sort of reductive ethical naturalism—end-relational theory—to interpret “good” assertions. According to this theory, most “good” assertions are end-relational and thus “good” can be reduced to “end”. By doing so, metaphysical moral meaning can be converted into concretized natural meaning, and then “good” morality will not be high up above anymore. 


“good”; ethical naturalism; “end”; reductionism

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