Three degrees of natural goodness


Philippa Foot’s Natural Goodness is among the most beautiful and moving works of moral philosophy yet produced in the analytic tradition. It is so much an integral whole that it will seem barbaric to do as I propose briefly to do, and put it to the scalpel. But Natural Goodness propounds a complex theory with many levels or strata, some of which even the author fails completely to distinguish. I will distinguish three strata, each depending logically on the one that comes before. I will call them respectively logical Footianism, local Footianism and substantive Footianism. My purpose in making these distinctions is simply to advance discussion: I believe that objections to Natural Goodness generally confuse these different dimensions of the doctrine, and that the author to some extent aids this confusion



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