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Grant number like: FA-51826-05

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Nicholas L. Sturgeon
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY 14850-2820)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006

A Philosophical Analysis of Values in a Natural World

Ethical naturalism holds that values and obligations are part of the natural world. Ethical realism holds that they are importantly objective in that they are independent of us and not just the creation or projection of our subjective concerns. Although each view is controversial, I propose to explore an outlook that combines them. There is a presumption in favor of realism, I claim, because many central features of our ethical discourse, and especially the explanatory use of that discourse, appear to presuppose it. A naturalistic worldview has often been thought to challenge realism, even so; but I shall argue that philosophical naturalism, reasonably understood, can accommodate ethical realism very well.