Chapter

Natural Goodness

Angus Ritchie

in From Morality to Metaphysics

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652518
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745850 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652518.003.0006
Natural Goodness

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This chapter evaluates Philippa Foot's moral philosophy, applying the three standards she sets for a satisfactory account — namely that it should vindicate our fundamental moral commitments; explain the epistemic access humans have to moral truths within a secular framework; and provide an adequate explanation of situations where human flourishing is not to be identified with maximising survival — for the individual or the collective. It considers in turn her account of the objective qualities and defects of living things in general; her application of this to human beings and their wills; and her account of why such facts ought to motivate agents to behave well. The chapter argues that her account only meets the first of her three standards — and that what is required is a notion of objective moral correctness which transcends the species-relative property of goodness upon which Foot has to rely.

Keywords: aristotelianism; ethical naturalism; moral realism; foot; goodness

Chapter.  5902 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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