Commiting The Naturalistic Fallacy Essay

677 words - 3 pages

G.E. Moore in his work Pricipia Ethica outlines that something complex can be explained by specifying it basic properties (qtd. in Schroeder). In contrast, Moore explains that something simplistic cannot be explained further by using basic properties (qtd. in Schroeder). To try to explain something simplistic by basic properties would be to commit the naturalistic fallacy. The naturalistic fallacy is a fallacy because it is an error in definition and it is similar to the is-ought distinction.
Evolutionary ethics is a good candidate for committing the naturalistic fallacy because it tries to define ethical terms in terms of naturalistic properties (Boniolo 13, Moore chapter 2, and ...view middle of the document...

An argument that appeals to nature is a miss use of logic ("Appeal to Nature."). The argument is a miss use of logic because it automatically implies praise and because natural is a vague concept so premises based on something being natural are unclear. ("Appeal to Nature."). A naturalistic fallacy, on the other hand, is an error in definition and in ethics ("Appeal to Nature.").
Naturalistic fallacy is, additionally, similar to the is-ought distinction. It is a naturalistic fallacy to say that evolution is good (Schroeder). It is an is-ought distinction to say that because evolution is good we must support evolution (Schroeder). Both cases try to recognize facts from values and thus are fallacies. The is-ought distinction, more specifically, tries to derive normative claim, the ought, from empirical fact, the is (Schroeder). However, some philosophers like Edward O. Wilson do not see a problem with the is-ought distinction and believe that it is not a fallacy (Boniolo 18). For example, Wilson believes that it is ok to infer that we should promote...

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