Leert de natuur ons mores? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 46, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



The classical question whether nature can serve as a normative argument in ethics or not, is gaining more and more actuality in face of current evolutions in bio-technology and ecology. Analysing the concept of nature, the author concludes however, that it represents a rich, but very polyvalent metaphysical notion. For that reason nature cannot play the role that normative ethics sometimes assigns to it, in presenting it as a source of evil or a criterion of the good. This, in order to supply a clear opposite vis-à-vis human moral ambiguity. Nature deserves a normative function somehow: it teaches us the formal necessity, but also the limits of ethics. However, especially when nature is confronting us with its most powerful features, morality appears to be a specific human phenomenon.


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