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The naturalistic fallacy was identified by G. E. Moore (1873–1958) in Principia Ethica, where it provides the grounds for his rejection of evolutionary and hedonistic ethics. The fallacy is important to consider in business ethics since evolutionary and hedonist positions are still endorsed by some contemporary theorists in this area.

The fallacy includes a failure to distinguish between identifying a property that good things have in common and providing a general account of moral goodness. This failure prompts a fallacious assumption that by identifying a property shared by good things, one has succeeded in providing an account of goodness. For example, good things may have in common that they are desired or natural. Being desired or being natural, then, would be properties shared by good ...

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