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Traditional Naturalism

  • Kristina Gehrman
Chapter
Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)

Abstract

In Natural Goodness, Philippa Foot repeatedly connects facts about human needs with facts about human goodness, or virtue. As a result both proponents and critics of her view tend to treat this connection as the core naturalist thesis upon which her theory principally rests, with proponents asserting and critics denying that human needs can indeed ground a substantive account of the virtues and of right action. In addition to her talk of what humans need, however, Foot also attributes a robustly objective, Aristotelian conception of practical rationality to human beings. This paper argues that the objectivity of morality is grounded, not in facts about human needs, but rather in facts about the nature of human practical rationality.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the University of Tennessee Humanities Center for Fellowship support which allowed me to make significant progress on this project. I would also like to thank Paul Nichols and John Hacker-Wright for their many insightful comments on earlier drafts. I would also like to thank Barbara Herman, Gavin Lawrence, and A.J. Julius for their feedback on the theory of natural normativity discussed here.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristina Gehrman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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