The Limits of Aristotelian Naturalism

Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (3):269-286 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper seeks to assess the claim of Aristotelian naturalism to successfully vindicate the virtues. To this end, I consider two ways to understand the claims of Aristotelian naturalism and, thus, the normative authority of nature. The first is represented by an interpretation of Aristotelian naturalism as defending the claim that practical rationality is species-relative. I argue that the view fails because it cannot accommodate certain forms of moral disagreement. As an alternative, I propose seeing Aristotelian naturalism as the expression of a particular ethical outlook, which is based on identifying as a living organism in the order of nature. Since this identification is neither universal nor necessary, my view suggests that Aristotelian naturalism is more parochial than its proponents believe, but it is not, for that reason, invalidated. As an articulation of the fundamental principles of a particular ethical outlook, Aristotelian naturalism can provide a limited form of vindication for certain virtues. I conclude with remarks on the prospects for naturalist vindication beyond an ethical outlook.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,659

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-08-23

Downloads
67 (#240,437)

6 months
9 (#455,463)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Irene Liu
Le Moyne College

Citations of this work

Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism as Ethical Naturalism.Parisa Moosavi - 2022 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 19 (4):335-360.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Apprehending Human Form.Michael Thompson - 2004 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 54:47-74.
Virtue ethics: What kind of naturalism?Julia Annas - 2005 - In Stephen Mark Gardiner (ed.), Virtue ethics, old and new. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. pp. 11--29.

View all 6 references / Add more references