Have Neo-Aristotelians Abandoned Naturalism? On the Distinctively Human Form of Practical Reason

  • Jessy JordanEmail author


One of the central claims of proponents of neo-Aristotelian natural normativity is that moral evaluations are a species of natural goodness/defect evaluations. Prominent contemporary architects of this tradition, such as Philippa Foot, Michael Thompson, and John Hacker-Wright, contend that when we evaluate any living organism we find that we do so in relation to what is characteristic of the species/kind/life-form of which that organism is a member.1The pattern of natural normativity is one in which what is typical for the life-form sets the normative standard according to which individuals are judged sound or defective. Just as an individual bee is defective (i.e., naturally bad) if it refuses to perform the waggle dance—alerting hivemates as to the location of a food source—so an individual human is defective if s/he is colorblind or possesses vices. What is vital to notice here is the role played by an individual organism’s natural kind in evaluating it. There are two...


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mount Saint Mary’s UniversityEmmitsburgUSA

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