Towards a Self-Definition of Naturalism


  • Heraclio Corrales Pavía Universidad de Málaga



epistemology, methodology, niche construction, ontology


Naturalism is the philosophical thesis that holds the following assumptions: the rejection of the supernatural and the transcendent; the acceptance of science as knowledge of high epistemic value, for some philosophers it is the only valid knowledge, and the rejection of all first or a priori philosophy. The problem addressed is that prima facie it seems problematic to explain the theses of naturalism without violating some of its assumptions. This paper will show that, starting from liberal naturalism and the notions of niche construction, as well as some theses of the articulation of thought through language, it is possible to define naturalism without defending premises that violate its methodology.


Bermúdez, J. L. (2003). Thinking without Words. Nueva York: Oxford University Press.

Bertolotti, T., Magnani, L (2017). Theoretical considerations on cognitive niche construction, Synthese, 194(12), 4758-4779.

Bloom, P. (2013). Just Babies, the Origins of Good and Evil. New York: Brodway Books,.

Bordes Solanas, M. (2021). Las trampas de Circe: falacias lógicas y argumentación informal. Madrid: Cátedra.

Choi, Y., Yuyan L., Baillargeon, R. (2022). Can 5-month-old infants consider the perspective of a novel eyeless agent? New evidence for early mentalistic reasoning. Child Development, 93(2), 571-581.

De Caro, M., Voltolini, A.(2010). Is Liberal Naturalism Possible? En Mario De Caro y David Macarthur (Eds.), Naturalism and Normativity, pp. 69-86. Columbia: Columbia University Press.

de Waal, Frans (2005). El mono que llevamos dentro. Barcelona: Tusquests.

Díez, J. A., Moulines, C. U. (2020). Fundamentos de filosofía de la ciencia. Barcelona: Ariel.

Glock, H. (2000). Animals, Thouhgts and Concepts. Synthese, 123(1), 35-64.

Jackson, F. (1986). What Mary didn’t Know.» Journal of Philosophy, 83(5), 291-295.

Laland, K., Sterelny, K. (2006). Perspective: Seven Reasons (not) to Neglect Niche Construction. Evolution, 60(9), 1751-1762.

Macarthur, D. (2015). Liberal Naturalism and Second-Personal Space: a Neo-Pragmatism Response to “The Natural Origins of Content”. Philosophia, 43(3), 565-578.

Macarthur, D. (2019). Liberal Naturalism and the Scientific Image of the World. Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, 62(5), 565-585.

Macarthur, D. (2015). Liberal Naturalism, Ordinary Things and the Importance of Second-Personal Space. En J. S. Carmo (Ed.), A Companion to Naturalism, pp. 19-29. Pelotas: Dissertatio’s Series of Philosophy.

Macarthur, D. (1975). Naturalizing the Human or Humanizing Nature: Science, Nature and the Supernatural. Erkenntis, 61(1), 29-51.

Macarthur, D. (2008). Pragmatism, Metaphysical Quietism & the Problem of Normativity. Philosophical Topics, 36(1), 193-209.

Mameli, M. (2001). Mindreading, Mindshaping, and Evolution. Biology and Philosophy, 16, 597-628.

Meltzoff, A. (1995). Understanding the intentions of others: Re-enacment of intended acts by 18,month-old children. Developmental Psichology, 31(5), 838-850.

Metzoff, A. (1988). Infant Imitation and Memory: Nine-month olds in immediate and deferred tests. Child Development, 59(1), 217-225.

Papineau, D. (2021). Naturalism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Rouse, J. (2015). Articulating the World. Conceptual Understanding and the Scientific Image. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Sellars, W. (2007). In the Space of Reasons. Selected Essays of Wilfrid Sellars. En Kevin Scharp y Robert B. Brandom (Eds.), In the Space of Reasons, pp. 369-409. London: Harvard University Press.

Tomasello, M. (2019). Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Tomasello, M. (2000). Culture and Cognitive Development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9(2), 37-40.



2023-05-31 — Updated on 2023-05-31


How to Cite

Corrales Pavía, H. (2023). Towards a Self-Definition of Naturalism. RHV. An International Journal of Philosophy, (21), 7–26.