Volume 24, Issue 2, 2014
Whither “Naturalization of Morality”?
The issue widely discussed under the heading of “naturalization of morality” in-volves at least three major components of “morality”: (1) value-laden experience which is the source of all genuine values; (2) received morality, a system of behaviors and attitudes that are transmitted from generation to generation and control the exchange of primary values; and (3) an analytic-evaluative agency, here referred to as ethics, that assesses norms and assumptions underlying received moralities against an independent knowledge of values. This task requires the use of both scientific information (on values and received moralities) and domain-specific ways of ethical reasoning that are appropriate for the subject. While the transmission of moral systems is fully explicable and thus naturalized in terms of evolutionary theory and psychology, the ongoing naturalization of ethics appears to be more complex.