The Emergence of Value
Human Norms in a Natural World
Argues that truth, moral right, political right, and aesthetic value may be understood as arising out of a naturalist account of humanity, if naturalism is rightly conceived.
Philosophers, social scientists, and natural scientists argue over whether a natural scientific account of human being is compatible with uniquely human norms like ethics, justice, art, and the concern for truth. Many attempts at such an account have been tried and failed; others, like evolutionary psychology, have tried but stumbled. The Emergence of Value argues that a broad enough understanding of nature and human nature can incorporate human values and norms, without reducing them to inhuman processes. Lawrence Cahoone advances the position that nature includes values as well as facts, and human uniqueness is therefore compatible with nature, as it must be. To demonstrate this, we must consider multiple sciences and recent philosophical traditions and their impact on our notions of truth, morality, justice, and beauty.
Lawrence Cahoone is Professor of Philosophy at College of the Holy Cross. He is the author of The Orders of Nature; The Ends of Philosophy; and The Dilemma of Modernity: Philosophy, Culture, and Anti-Culture, all published by SUNY Press.