Natural, Artifactual, and Moral Goodness

The Journal of Ethics 21 (3):291-307 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In Natural Goodness, Philippa Foot aims to provide an account of moral evaluation that is both naturalistic and cognitivist. She argues that moral evaluation is a variety of natural evaluation in the sense that moral judgments of human action and character have the same “grammar” or “conceptual structure” as natural judgments of the goodness of plants and animals. We argue that Foot’s naturalist project can succeed, but not in the way she envisions, because her central thesis that moral evaluation is a variety of natural evaluation is not entirely correct. We show that both moral and natural evaluation are species of kind evaluation, which encompasses moral, natural, and artifact evaluation. Kind evaluation is a form of evaluation, according to which things are evaluated qua members of a kind, in such a way that the kind into which something is classified informs the standards of evaluation for things of that kind. Because the source of the normative standards for moral evaluation is different from the source of the normative standards for natural evaluation, moral evaluation is not a species of natural evaluation. However, both are varieties of kind evaluation. This account of moral evaluation as a variety of kind evaluation is still an effective response to non-naturalism and to non-cognitivism.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,685

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Species Concepts and Natural Goodness.Judith K. Crane & Ronald Sandler - 2011 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press. pp. 289.
Natural goodness.Philippa Foot - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
A Biological Alternative to Moral Explanations.Joseph Millum - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):385-407.
Emotional expressions of moral value.Julie Tannenbaum - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):43 - 57.
Two portraits of the Humean moral agent.Kate Abramson - 2002 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (4):301–334.
Dream immorality.Julia Driver - 2007 - Philosophy 82 (1):5-22.
Scientific Proof of the Natural Moral Law.Eric Brown - 2005 - Dissertation, The Catholic University of America
On the Problem of Moral Evaluation.Maria Makai - 1976 - Russian Studies in Philosophy 15 (3):89-101.


Added to PP

45 (#307,473)

6 months
2 (#650,101)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Judith Crane
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Ronald Sandler
Northeastern University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations