Whose Naturalism? Which Wittgenstein?
by Anthony Kenny
Our first task is
to clarify in what naturalism consists. One doughty naturalist, Kai Nielsen,
more than once defined naturalism in the following way: “Naturalism denies
that there are any spiritual or supernatural realities transcendent to
the world, or at least that we have sound grounds for believing that there
are such realities.” Nature is all: there is nothing that exists that
is not a part of nature and there is nothing beyond nature. At this point
we look for, and fail to get, a clear and consistent account of what is
meant by “nature” and “natural.” Of course, the natural is contrasted
with the supernatural; but that contrast by itself will not give us a
noncircular account of nature.