Aristotle on Beauty and Goodness in Nature

In this article I provide a philosophical exposition of Aristotle’s claim that natural beings—precisely as beings—are intrinsically good and beautiful. The discussionattends to both living and non-living beings, and also explores the relation between Aristotle’s account of natural beauty, his teleology, and his ethics. I conclude by exploring three objections to Aristotle’s view: that many existing things are clearly bad; that the concepts “good” and “bad” apply only in relation to living things, being relevant to these not as beings but as alive; and finally, that things cannot be called good or bad in themselves, but only good or bad “for” an appropriate sort of agent. The discussion of these objections gives particular attention to the legacy of Hume’s fact-value distinction
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq20125216
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