Natural Goodness

Recommended by Edward Skidelsky, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #86 in Ethics

Philippa Foot has for many years been one of the most distinctive and influential thinkers in moral philosophy. Long dissatisfied with the moral theories of her contemporaries, she has gradually evolved a theory of her own that is radically opposed not only to emotivism and prescriptivism but also to the whole subjectivist, anti-naturalist movement deriving from David Hume. Dissatisfied with both Kantian and utilitarian ethics, she claims to have isolated a special form of evaluation that predicates goodness and defect only to living things considered as such; she finds this form of... more

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Edward Skidelsky Philippa Foot is also an Aristotelian, but of a rather different kind. MacIntyre thinks that the notion of virtue has to be detached from Aristotle’s original ‘metaphysical biology’ as he calls it, whereas Philippa Foot thinks that maybe it doesn’t. In Natural Goodness – which is beautifully written, by the way, and one of my favourite works of moral philosophy – she has this interesting discussion of the sentence “human beings have 32 teeth”. This is a perfectly ordinary sentence in English; readily intelligible, the kind we use all the time. But when you think about it, what does it... (Source)

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