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Human Nature, Virtue, and Rationality

In Julia Peters (ed.), Aristotelian Ethics in Contemporary Perspective. Routledge. pp. 83 (2013)

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  1. Aristotelian Naturalism Vs. Mutants, Aliens and the Great Red Dragon.Scott Woodcock - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (4):313-328.
    In this paper I present a new objection to the Aristotelian Naturalism defended by Philippa Foot. I describe this objection as a membership objection because it reveals the fact that AN invites counterexamples when pressed to identify the individuals bound by its normative claims. I present three examples of agents for whom the norms generated by AN are not obviously authoritative: mutants, aliens, and the Great Red Dragon. Those who continue to advocate for Foot's view can give compelling replies to (...)
     
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  • Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism and the Indeterminacy Objection.Scott Woodcock - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (1):20-41.
    Philippa Foot’s virtue ethics remains an intriguing but divisive position in normative ethics. For some, the promise of grounding human virtue in natural facts is a useful method of establishing normative content. For others, the natural facts on which the virtues are established appear naively uninformed when it comes to the empirical details of our species. In response to this criticism, a new cohort of neo-Aristotelians like John Hacker-Wright attempt to defend Foot by reminding critics that the facts at stake (...)
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  • The Limits of Aristotelian Naturalism.Irene Liu - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (3):269-286.
    This paper seeks to assess the claim of Aristotelian naturalism to successfully vindicate the virtues. To this end, I consider two ways to understand the claims of Aristotelian naturalism and, thus, the normative authority of nature. The first is represented by an interpretation of Aristotelian naturalism as defending the claim that practical rationality is species-relative. I argue that the view fails because it cannot accommodate certain forms of moral disagreement. As an alternative, I propose seeing Aristotelian naturalism as the expression (...)
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  • Must Realists Be Skeptics? An Aristotelian Reply to a Darwinian Dilemma.Micah Lott - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):71-96.
    In a series of influential essays, Sharon Street has argued, on the basis of Darwinian considerations, that normative realism leads to skepticism about moral knowledge. I argue that if we begin with the account of moral knowledge provided by Aristotelian naturalism, then we can offer a satisfactory realist response to Street’s argument, and that Aristotelian naturalism can avoid challenges facing other realist responses. I first explain Street’s evolutionary argument and three of the most prominent realist responses, and I identify challenges (...)
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  • Why Be a Good Human Being? Natural Goodness, Reason, and the Authority of Human Nature.Micah Lott - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):761-777.
    The central claim of Aristotelian naturalism is that moral goodness is a kind of species-specific natural goodness. Aristotelian naturalism has recently enjoyed a resurgence in the work of philosophers such as Philippa Foot, Rosalind Hursthouse, and Michael Thompson. However, any view that takes moral goodness to be a type of natural goodness faces a challenge: Granting that moral goodness is natural goodness for human beings, why should we care about being good human beings? Given that we are rational creatures who (...)
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  • Good Reasons and Natural Ends: Rosalind Hursthouse's Hermeneutical Naturalism.Sascha Settegast - 2020 - In Martin Hähnel (ed.), Aristotelian Naturalism: A Research Companion. Springer. pp. 195-207.
    My aims are exegetical rather than critical: I offer a systematic account of Hursthouse's ethical naturalism with an emphasis on the normative authority of the four ends, and try to correct some misconceptions found in the literature. Specifically, I argue that the four ends function akin to Wittgensteinian hinge-propositions for our practice of ethical reasoning and as such form part of a description of the logical grammar of said practice.
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  • Elevating Human Being: Towards a New Sort of Naturalism.Irene Liu - 2017 - Philosophy 92 (4):597-622.
    Defended by scholars such as John McDowell and Julia Annas, the naturalism of second nature (NSN) claims that the virtues are part of a rational second nature in- stilled through moral education. While NSN emphasizes that rationality, fully devel- oped, results in autonomy from nature, it is considered a sort of naturalism because the development of rational second nature unfolds through entirely natural processes. Critics object that NSN does not utilize human nature as a standard of evaluation, which is a (...)
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