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Critical Realism by Alan Norrie, Tony Lawson, Andrew Collier, Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer

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26

REALISM AND FORMALISM IN ETHICS

Andrew Collier

Critical realism has implications for ethics as well as for ontology. I shall start by listing four ways in which Roy Bhaskar’s work lays the foundations for a realist ethics – foundations on which I hope to build in a forthcoming book. The kind of ethics involved can be called a naturalistic theory of values as existing independently of our value judgements. But there is also another strand in Bhaskar’s writing on ethics of which I am more critical, and the rest of this paper will be devoted to its criticism.

First, then, to the four points which I accept as foundations for a realist ethics:

1 The position defended by Bhaskar is a version of naturalism: values are inherent in facts ...

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