Normativity from Nothing
Many metaethicists find a tension between Naturalism and the Is/Ought Principle. Naturalism seems to require that all facts either be natural or ultimately grounded in solely natural facts. The Is/Ought Principle seems to require that no normative facts be natural or solely grounded in natural facts. Both principles appear plausible, yet many metaethics think they are incompatible. In this paper, I argue that Naturalism and the Is/Ought Principle are in fact compatible. We can see this once we adopt a framework that treats metaphysical grounding as involving both grounds as well as connections between grounds and grounded. If the most basic normative facts are null grounded from no grounds but via solely natural connections, then normative facts are generated in a naturalistically acceptable manner that is consistent with normative properties having sui generis normative natures. Thus, Naturalism and the Is/Ought Principle are both satisfied. I sketch a view where certain normative facts are socially generated by joint intentions.
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