Democracy & Nature, Vol. 8, No. 3
Kropotkin's ethical naturalism
Abstract: This paper discusses the ethical theory of Peter Kropotkin who followed Aristotle, Spinoza and Darwin in affirming a naturalistic approach to ethics. After outlining Kropotkin's basic theory, which put a focal emphasis on mutual aid, justice and magnanimity in the interpretation of moral values, the paper responds to the familiar criticisms of the anarchist, who is alleged to have committed the so-called "naturalistic fallacy". By this is meant deriving moral values from facts about the world. Drawing on Warnock's and Dennett's recent writings the paper defends Kropotkin's essential thesis.