David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ratio 19 (2):199–213 (2006)
In Natural Goodness Philippa Foot gives an analysis of the concepts we use to describe the characteristics of living things. She suggests that we describe them in functional terms, and this allows us to judge organisms as good or defective depending on how well they perform their distinctive functions. Foot claims that we can judge intentional human actions in the same way: the virtues contribute in obvious ways to good human functioning, and this provides us with grounds for making moral judgements. This paper criticises Foot’s argument by challenging her notion of function. I argue that the type of judgement she makes about living things requires an evolutionary biological account of function. However, such an account would render her meta-ethical claims implausible, since it is unlikely that human beings are adapted to be maximally virtuous. I conclude that Foot is wrong about the logical structure of our judgements of human action.
|Keywords||Philippa Foot naturalism Aristotelian|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
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.
Similar books and articles
Neal Weiner (2002). Philippa Foot, Natural Goodness (Book Review). Journal of Value Inquiry 36 (4):567-572.
Philippa Foot (2002). Moral Dilemmas and Other Topics in Moral Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Scott Woodcock (2006). Philippa Foot's Virtue Ethics has an Achilles' Heel. Dialogue 45 (3):445-468.
Mark C. Murphy (2003). Philippa Foot, Natural Goodness:Natural Goodness. Ethics 113 (2):410-414.
Alex Voorhoeve (2003). The Grammar of Goodness: An Interview with Philippa Foot. Harvard Review of Philosophy:32-44.
John Lemos (2007). Foot and Aristotle on Virtues and Flourishing. Philosophia 35 (1):43-62.
Philippa Foot (2001). Natural Goodness. Oxford University Press.
John Hacker-Wright (2009). What is Natural About Foot's Ethical Naturalism? Ratio 22 (3):308-321.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads91 ( #49,198 of 1,938,822 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #163,174 of 1,938,822 )
How can I increase my downloads?