The central question of naturalism - the relation of philosophy to science - was one of the defining strands of twentieth-century thought and remains a major source of debate and controversy. Today many argue that philosophy should fold itself into the sciences, especially the natural sciences. Liberal naturalists argue that such scientific naturalism demands reductive and Procrustean conceptions of knowledge and reality. Moreover, many philosophical problems are beyond the scope of the sciences, such as the nature of persons, the normativity of the space of reasons, and how best to understand the peculiar mix of objectivity and subjectivity of ethics and art.
The Routledge Handbook of Liberal Naturalism is the first collection to present a comprehensive overview of liberal naturalism, a philosophical outlook that lies between scientific naturalism and supernaturalism. Comprising 37 chapters by an international team of contributors, it examines important cutting-edge topics including:
- what is liberal naturalism?
- is metaphysics a viable project?
- naturalism in the history of philosophy, including Hume, Dewey and Quine
- contemporary liberal naturalists such as P.F. Strawson, John McDowell, Hilary Putnam and John Rawls
- related kinds of naturalism, including subject naturalism, common-sense naturalism, and biological naturalism
- the bearing of liberal naturalism on contemporary debates in epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics and aesthetics.
Essential reading for students and researchers in all areas of philosophy, it will be of particular interest for those studying philosophical naturalism, philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics and aesthetics.
Table of Contents
Introduction Mario De Caro and David Macarthur
Part 1: Historical Naturalisms and their Relation to Liberal Naturalism
1. Aristotle and Liberal Naturalism Riccardo Chiaradonna
2. Spinoza and Liberal Naturalism Alex Douglas
3. Hume and Liberal Naturalism Benedict Smith
4. Kant on Nature and Humanity Allen Wood
5. Nietzsche’s Naturalism: Neither Liberal Nor Illiberal Brian Leiter
6. Husserlian Phenomenology and Liberal Naturalism Andrea Staiti
7. Merleau-Ponty and Liberal Naturalism Jack Reynolds
8. Classical Pragmatism and Liberal Naturalism Steven Levine
Part 2: Theoretical Cousins of Liberal Naturalism
9. Quine’s Naturalism: Neither "Reductive" Nor "Liberal" Garry Ebbs
10. Wilfrid Sellars and Liberal Naturalism Willem De Vries
11. Foot and Liberal Naturalism Gabriele De Anna
12. Bernard Williams’s Liberal Naturalism Sophie-Grace Chappell
13. Price’s Subject Naturalism and Liberal Naturalism Lionel Shapiro
14. Relaxed Naturalism: A Liberating Philosophy of Nature Dan Hutto
15. Liberal or Radical Naturalism Joseph Rouse
16. Naturalism as a Stance Jack Ritchie
Part 3: Challenges for Liberal Naturalism
17. Pluralistic Realism and Liberal Naturalism Mario De Caro
18. Liberal Naturalism and God Fiona Ellis
19. Taylor and Liberal Naturalism Nicholas Smith
20. Can Selves be Naturalized? The Problem of Temporal Perspective Patrick Stokes
21. Liberal Naturalism, Ontological Commitment and Explanation Matteo Morganti
22. Naturalism with Chinese Characteristics Barry Allen
Part 4: Applications of Liberal Naturalism
23. Aesthetics and Liberal Naturalism: Art Up Close and Personal David Macarthur
24. Liberal Naturalism, Aesthetic Reflection and the Sublime Jennifer McMahon
25. Philosophy of Perception and Liberal Naturalism Thomas Raleigh
26. Ethics and Liberal Naturalism Hans Fink
27. Kantian Constitutivism and the Naturalistic Challenge Carla Bagnoli
28. The Rational Wolf: Moral Philosophy as Key to McDowell’s Liberal Naturalism Sofia Miguens
29. Rawls and Liberal Naturalism Paul Patton
30. Scientific Naturalism and Normative Explanation Robert Audi
31. Scientism and Liberal Naturalism Massimo Pigliucci
32. Liberal Naturalism and the Foundations of Psychoanalysis Talia Morag
33. Actualism as a Form of Liberal Naturalism Paul Redding
34. Critical Naturalism for the Human Sciences Daniel Andler
35. Jürgen Habermas and Liberal Naturalism Paul Giladi
36. Strawson and Non-Revisionary Naturalism Hans-Johan Glock
37. Hilary Putnam and Liberal Naturalism Massimo Dell’Utri.
Mario De Caro is Professor of Moral Philosophy at Roma Tre University, Italy, and regularly a teaching Visiting Professor at Tufts University, USA. He has published five volumes in Italian, and edited New Perspectives on Donald Davidson’s Philosophy (1999), Hilary’s Putnam’s volume Naturalism, Realism, and Normativity (2016) and, with Maria Silvia Vaccarezza, Practical Wisdom: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (Routledge, 2021).
David Macarthur is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Sydney, Australia. He has co-edited three collections with Mario De Caro: Naturalism in Question (2004), Naturalism and Normativity (2010), and Philosophy in an Age of Science: Physics, Mathematics and Skepticism (2012). He is editor of Pragmatism as a Way of Life: The Lasting Legacy of William James and John Dewey (2017).