Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Science cannot determine human values

Earp, B. D. (in press). Science cannot determine human values.
Think: A  Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, in press.

Sam Harris, in his book The Moral Landscape, famously argues that “science can determine human values.” Against this view, I argue that while secular moral philosophy can certainly help us to determine our values, science—at least as that word is commonly understood—must play a subservient role. To the extent that science can “determine” what we ought to do, it is only by providing us with empirical information, which can then be slotted into a chain of deductive (moral) reasoning. The premises of such reasoning, however, can in no way be derived from the scientific method: they come, instead, from philosophy—and common sense.

The entire article is here.