Saturday, February 21, 2009

Coffee Table Discussion

Click the title (above) for the preprint of this paper: Inference to the Best Decision by Patricia Smith Churchland, Philosophy Department UCSD, La Jolla CA 92093.

Below, a summary quote for further discussion.
My main point in this context, however, is that naturalism in ethics should no longer be hobbled by the dictum that you cannot infer an ought from an is. Fine; you cannot deduce an ought from an is. What you can do, however, is come to a decision about what you ought to do without relying on any normative rules or maxims. That is what humans, and undoubtedly other animals, in fact do. From this perspective, many new questions in ethics arise. These questions present philosophers with a unique opportunity to collaborate with scientists on matters of great social importance.
The "house rules" for debate are up to your coordinator -- remember to leverage asynchronous media if your network is distributed across time zones. IRC isn't always the best way.

Feel free to send blog links if you'd like others to be aware of your discussion.

My thanks to Nat Bobbitt for starting this circle around Portland.

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