The Saucer of mud, The Kudzu vine and the uxorious cheetah: Against neo-Aristotelian naturalism in metaethics

Let me say something, to begin with, about wanting weird stuff. Stuff like saucers of mud. The example, famously, is from Anscombe’s Intention (Anscombe Anscombe 957)) where she is, in effect, defending a version of the old scholastic maxim, Omne appetitum appetitur sub specie boni. If your Latin is rusty like mine, what that says is just that every appetite – for better congruence with modern discussions, let’s say every desire – desires under the aspect of the good, or in the wording made current by Velleman, under the guise of the good (Velleman 992). To desire something is to regard it as good in some way, as having some desirability characteristic. And not just any old thing can be regarded as good in some way, as having some desirability characteristic. Obviously if this is correct, it rules against our giving desires any sort of ground-floor role in our understand-.
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James Barham (2012). Normativity, Agency, and Life. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):92-103.
James Lenman (2011). Pleasure, Desire and Practical Reason. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):143-149.

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