Michael-John Turp
University of Canterbury
Michael-John Turp | : There is little consensus concerning the truth or reference conditions for evaluative terms such as “good” and “bad.” In his paper “Good and Evil,” Geach proposed that we distinguish between attributive and predicative uses of “good.” Foot, Thomson, Kraut, and others have put this distinction to use when discussing basic questions of value theory. In §§1-2, I outline Geach’s proposal and argue that attributive evaluation depends on a prior grasp of the kind of thing that is evaluated, which is another way of saying a prior grasp of a thing’s nature. In §§3-4, I discuss the evaluation of artifacts, which provide the clearest examples of attributive evaluation. This allows me to address a series of problems apparently facing the idea of attributive goodness. In §5, I consider the neo-Aristotelian idea that we can extend attributive accounts of goodness to human lives, and I pay attention to Foot’s account of natural goodness. This leads me to consider the goodness of human life as a whole in §6. At this point. I depart from Geach’s approach and argue that questions of attributive goodness finally give rise to questions of predicative or absolute goodness. | : Il y a peu de consensus sur la vérité ou les conditions de référence pour les termes évaluatifs tels que « bon » et « mauvais ». Dans son article « Good and Evil », Geach a proposé de distinguer les usages attributif et prédicatif du « bon ». Foot, Thomson, Kraut et d’autres considèrent qu’il faut utiliser cette distinction lorsqu’il s’agit des questions fondamentales de la théorie de la valeur. Dans les parties 1-2, je décris ici la proposition de Geach et je prétends que l’évaluation attributive dépend d’une compréhension préalable du genre de chose qui est évaluée, ce qui est une autre façon de dire une compréhension préalable de la nature d’une chose. Dans les parties 3-4, je discute de l’évaluation des artefacts, qui fournissent les exemples les plus clairs d’évaluation attributive. Cela me permet d’illustrer une série de problèmes apparemment liés à l’idée de la bonté attributive. Dans la partie 5, je considère l’idée néo-aristotélicienne voulant que nous puissions étendre notre compréhension de la bonté attributive aux vies humaines, et je me penche sur l’idée de bonté naturelle selon Foot. Cela me conduit à considérer la bonté de la vie humaine comme un tout, dans la partie 6. De là, je m’éloigne de l’approche de Geach pour affirmer que les questions de bonté attributive suscitent finalement des questions de bonté prédicative ou absolue.
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DOI 10.7202/1041767ar
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