Sorts of naturalism: Requirements for a successful theory

Metaphilosophy 39 (2):220–250 (2008)

Authors
Christopher H. Toner
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
Abstract
In this article I investigate several "sorts of naturalism" that have been advanced in recent years as possible foundations for virtue ethics: those of Michael Thompson, Philippa Foot, Rosalind Hursthouse, John McDowell, and Larry Arnhart. Each of these impressive attempts fails in illuminatingly different ways, and in the opening sections I analyze what has gone variously wrong. I next use this analysis to articulate four criteria that any successful Aristotelian naturalism must meet (my goal is to show what naturalism must deliver, not yet to show that it can deliver it). I then look at Alasdair MacIntyre's approach, which begins with our natural trajectory from complete dependency toward becoming independent practical reasoners; I argue that this sort of naturalism meets the aforementioned criteria and thus provides a good example of what Aristotelian naturalists must do. I close with a consideration of two important objections to any broadly MacIntyrean sort of naturalism.
Keywords virtue ethics  Hursthouse  McDowell  naturalism  MacIntyre  Foot
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2008.00538.x
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References found in this work BETA

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Natural Goodness.Philippa Foot - 2001 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism and the Indeterminacy Objection.Scott Woodcock - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (1):20-41.
Ethical Naturalism and the Justification of Claims About Human Form.Jessy Jordan - 2016 - Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review 55 (3):467-492.
Human Nature and Moral Sprouts: Mencius on the Pollyanna Problem.Richard T. Kim - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):140-162.

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