The central question of naturalism - the relation of philosophy to science - was one of the defining strands of twentieth-century thought and remains a major source of debate and controversy. Today many argue that philosophy should fold itself into the sciences, especially the natural sciences. Liberal naturalists argue that such scientific naturalism demands reductive and Procrustean conceptions of knowledge and reality. Moreover, many philosophical problems are beyond the scope of the sciences, such as the nature of persons, the normativity of the space of reasons, and how best to understand the peculiar mix of objectivity and subjectivity of ethics and art.

The Routledge Handbook of Liberal Naturalism is the first collection to present a comprehensive overview of liberal naturalism, a philosophical outlook that lies between scientific naturalism and supernaturalism. Comprising 37 chapters by an international team of contributors, it examines important cutting-edge topics including:

  • what is liberal naturalism?
  • is metaphysics a viable project?
  • naturalism in the history of philosophy, including Hume, Dewey, and Quine
  • contemporary liberal naturalists such as P.F. Strawson, John McDowell, Hilary Putnam, and John Rawls
  • related kinds of naturalism, including subject naturalism, common-sense naturalism and biological naturalism
  • the bearing of liberal naturalism on contemporary debates in epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics and aesthetics.

Essential reading for students and researchers in all areas of philosophy, this volume will be of particular interest for those studying philosophical naturalism, philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics and aesthetics.

chapter |4 pages


ByMario De Caro, David Macarthur

part Part I|89 pages

Historical naturalisms and their relation to liberal naturalism

chapter 1|10 pages

Aristotle on (second) nature, habit and character

ByRiccardo Chiaradonna, Flavia Farina

chapter 2|9 pages

Spinoza and liberal naturalism

ByAlex Douglas

chapter 3|10 pages

Hume and liberal naturalism

ByBenedict Smith

chapter 4|11 pages

Kant on nature and humanity

ByAllen Wood

chapter 5|8 pages

Nietzsche's naturalism: neither liberal nor illiberal

ByBrian Leiter

chapter 6|15 pages

Husserlian phenomenology and liberal naturalism

ByAndrea Staiti

chapter 7|13 pages

Merleau-Ponty and liberal naturalism

ByJack Reynolds

chapter 8|11 pages

Classical pragmatism and liberal naturalism

BySteven Levin

part Part II|108 pages

Theoretical cousins of liberal naturalism

chapter 10|12 pages

Wilfrid sellars and liberal naturalism

ByWillem A. deVries

chapter 11|12 pages

Philippa Foot's liberal naturalism in ethics

ByGabriele De Anna

chapter 12|18 pages

Bernard Williams's liberal naturalism

BySophie-Grace Chappell

chapter 13|13 pages

Price's subject naturalism and liberal naturalism

ByLionel Shapiro

chapter 14|12 pages

Relaxed naturalism: a liberating philosophy of nature

ByDaniel Hutto

chapter 15|13 pages

Liberal or radical naturalism?

ByJoseph Rouse

chapter 16|13 pages

Naturalism as a stance

ByJack Ritchie

part Part III|61 pages

Challenges for liberal naturalism

chapter 17|13 pages

Liberal naturalism: origins and prospects

ByMario De Caro

chapter 18|9 pages

Liberal naturalism and God

ByFiona Ellis

chapter 19|8 pages

Taylor and liberal naturalism

ByNicholas Smith

chapter 20|10 pages

Can selves be naturalised? The problem of temporal perspective

ByPatrick Stokes

chapter 21|10 pages

Liberal naturalism, ontological commitment and explanation

ByMatteo Morganti

chapter 22|9 pages

Naturalism with Chinese characteristics

ByBarry Allen

part Part IV|199 pages

Applications of liberal naturalism

chapter 23|14 pages

Liberal naturalism and aesthetics: art up close and personal 1

ByDavid Macarthur

chapter 24|18 pages

Liberal Naturalism, Aesthetic Reflection, and the Sublime

ByJennifer A. McMahon

chapter 25|21 pages

Philosophy of perception and liberal naturalism

ByThomas Raleigh

chapter 26|9 pages

Ethics and liberal naturalism

ByHans Fink

chapter 27|10 pages

Kantian constitutivism and the naturalistic challenge

ByCarla Bagnoli

chapter 29|9 pages

Rawls and liberal naturalism

ByPaul Patton

chapter 30|13 pages

Scientific naturalism and normative explanation

ByRobert Audi

chapter 31|12 pages

Scientism and liberal naturalism

ByMassimo Pigliucci

chapter 33|8 pages

Actualism as a form of liberal naturalism

ByPaul Redding

chapter 34|10 pages

Critical naturalism for the human sciences

ByDaniel Andler

chapter 35|12 pages

Habermas and liberal naturalism

ByPaul Giladi

chapter 36|14 pages

Strawson and non-revisionary naturalism

ByHans-Johann Glock

chapter 37|9 pages

Putnam and liberal naturalism

ByMassimo Dell’Utri