Virtue and nature

Social Philosophy and Policy 25 (1):28-55 (2008)
Abstract
The Neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalism of Philippa Foot and Rosalind Hursthouse purports to establish a naturalistic criterion for the virtues. Specifically, by developing a parallel between the natural ends of nonhuman animals and the natural ends of human beings, they argue that character traits are justified as virtues by the extent to which they promote and do not inhibit natural ends such as self-preservation, reproduction, and the well-being of one’s social group. I argue that the approach of Foot and Hursthouse cannot provide a basis for moral universalism, the widely-accepted idea that each human being has moral worth and thus deserves significant moral consideration. Foot and Hursthouse both depict a virtuous agent as implicitly acting in accord with moral universalism. However, with respect to charity, a virtue they both emphasize, their naturalistic criterion (especially in the more elaborate form developed by Hursthouse) at best provides a warrant for a restricted form of charity that extends only to a limited number of persons. There is nothing in the natural ends of human beings, as Foot and Hursthouse understand these, that gives us a reason for having any concern for the well-being of human beings as such
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0265052508080023
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 32,634
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism and the Indeterminacy Objection.Scott Woodcock - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (1):20-41.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
75 ( #80,444 of 2,236,108 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #43,267 of 2,236,108 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature