The Routledge Handbook of Liberal Naturalism  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Liberal Naturalism

ISBN 9780815381822
Published March 15, 2022 by Routledge
486 Pages

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Book Description

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, this volume 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 A. 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-Johann Glock

37. Hilary Putnam and Liberal Naturalism Massimo Dell’Utri.


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Mario De Caro is Professor of Moral Philosophy at Roma Tre University, Italy, and regularly Visiting Professor at Tufts University, USA. He has published five volumes in Italian and edited Interpretations and Causes. New Perspectives on Donald Davidson’s Philosophy (1999), Hilary 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).