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naturalism
February 4, 2007


This is a slightly revised version of a promissory note written in December, 2004, now occasioned by a preliminary discussion of “naturalism” and Habermasian discourse ethics, done today (linked below)



“Naturalism” can be understood manifoldly. I’m motivated here by interest in Habermas’s views, occasioned by others’ concerns (via the Habermas discussion group). Unlike Habermas (though not contrary to him), I want to parse the concept called “naturalism” into cultural, scientific, existential, and philosophical versions and consider the latter senses relative to some important resources in addition to Habermas’ views.

Naturalism is an important preliminary philosophical focus, as it provides an entrance into (or proximal way for) furthering philosophical research without metaphysicalism—not in the interest of yet another critique of metaphysicalism (i.e., critique of 20
th century-and-earlier myths of Being), but in the interest of getting on with the 21st century “philosophically,” pursuant to what philosophy may do for the future. I hope.

My discursive excursion resulted, December, 2004, in a set of notes accumulated over some time, which was divided into the following 10 areas, to be elaborated. I was indicating that there was specifiable progress made and to be made; and links to then activate. The “Habermas & discursivity” link below goes to a discussion that is preliminary (written yesterday and revised today), but which I could not have written in 2004. But there, my view of Habermas’ work is not spontaneously stated.
  • Ordinary naturalism
  • Culturality of “naturalism”
  • Epistemic reliabilism’s scientific realism
  • Human nature: realism about our nature
  • Lifeworld well-being: existing, expressing our ethical nature
  • Habermas & discursivity of naturalism interfacing realism
  • Nature of philosophy: evolutionary conceptual design
  • Intellectual virtue
  • Ontology: discursivity of philosophically ultimate concerns (philosophical ultimacy)
  • Implications of transhuman intimations

Since 2004, I’ve not dwelled with the issue of naturalism, for the kind of reasons expressed in “Habermas & discursivity”: I see the issue of naturalism as a preface to the more important focus of evolving cognitivity. My response to “the question of naturalism” is a philosophical approach to cognitive science that intends to be rigorously evolutionary, in the sense of a discursively integrated sense of “evo-devo” biology, biological anthropology, evolutionary psychology, and cognitive science.