Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2020

Moral Epistemology Naturalised

Stephen J. Sullivan


In this chapter the “methodological naturalist” thesis that the justification of normative ethical theories employs roughly the same empirical method as the justification of scientific theories will be presented. More precisely, the author argues that ethical inquiry into the nature of moral properties such as rightness and wrongness, goodness and badness closely parallels scientific inquiry into the nature of the natural kinds studied in the natural sciences. A corollary is that ethical theories can be subjected to observational testing in much the same way as their scientific counterparts. Also, the limits of this parallel and some objections to the thesis are addressed.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston