David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ratio 22 (3):308-321 (2009)
Philippa Foot's Natural Goodness is in the midst of a cool reception. It appears that this is due to the fact that Foot's naturalism draws on a picture of the biological world at odds with the view embraced by most scientists and philosophers. Foot's readers commonly assume that the account of the biological world that she must want to adhere to, and that she nevertheless mistakenly departs from, is the account offered by contemporary neo-Darwinian biological sciences. But as is evident in her notion of function, Foot does not employ an evolutionary view of the biological world. I will attempt to show, first, that it is for good reason that Foot is not operating with an evolutionary view of function; her views do not aim to unseat evolutionary views of function, but instead simply have quite different theoretical goals. Second, I aim to underline the importance to Foot's naturalism of the fact that we are practically reasoning creatures. The profundity of Foot's ethical naturalism rests in how she approaches our nature as practically reasoning creatures. In this aspect of Foot's thought, there is a significant Kantian strain that is surprising to find in someone who calls herself an ethical naturalist. 1.
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Citations of this work BETA
Jay Odenbaugh (forthcoming). Nothing in Ethics Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution? Natural Goodness, Normativity, and Naturalism. Synthese:1-25.
Micah Lott (2014). Why Be a Good Human Being? Natural Goodness, Reason, and the Authority of Human Nature. Philosophia 42 (3):761-777.
Steven Hendley (2015). Moral Reasoning as Naturally Good: A Qualified Defense of Foot's Conception of Practical Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (4):427-449.
Scott Woodcock (2014). Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism and the Indeterminacy Objection. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (1):20-41.
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