Transition to Human Beings

Philippa Foot

in Natural Goodness

Published in print February 2001 | ISBN: 9780198235088
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597428 | DOI:
Transition to Human Beings

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Foot proposes to transfer the conceptual patterns of natural normativity discussed in the preceding chapter to the realm of human action. Foot argues that we can evaluate features and operations of humans in relation to the part they play in human life, according to the schema of natural normativity found in the case of plants and animals. In support of her thesis, she draws upon Anscombe's discussion of the institution of promising, taking care to distinguish this from utilitarianism. The same normative pattern, that of natural normativity, Foot concludes, is to be found in the evaluations of plants, animals, and human beings; although human good is different to the good in the world of animals and plants, nevertheless there is a common conceptual structure.

Keywords: Anscombe; consequentialism; human life; normativity; promising; utilitarianism

Chapter.  5864 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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