Three Tools for Moral First Aid
Keywords:humanism, naturalism, morality, John Dewey, Daniel Dennet
The tension between naturalism and humanism is at its greatest when it comes to ethics and morality. By drawing on the affinity between the evolutionary humanistic philosophies of classical pragmatist John Dewey and contemporary pragmatist Daniel Dennett, I modify Dennett’s ethical technology, Moral First Aid, to include a kit as well as Dennett’s proposed manual. The contents of this kit draw on Dewey’s reconstructed moral genealogy in which three factors, goods, rights, and virtues, become stock parts for the technoscience of ethics. Lacking in Dennett’s account is an adequate ideal by which to measure moral success. I propose that moral first aid take up Dewey’s moral ideal of democracy as the guide for resolving moral exigencies.
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