Authors
Parisa Moosavi
York University
Abstract
Neo‐Aristotelian ethical naturalism purports to show that moral evaluation of human action and character is an evaluation of natural goodness—a kind of evaluation that applies to living things in virtue of their nature and based on their form of life. The standard neo‐Aristotelian view defines natural goodness by way of generic statements describing the natural history, or the ‘characteristic’ life, of a species. In this paper, I argue that this conception of natural goodness commits the neo‐Aristotelian view to a problematic anti‐individualism that results in the wrong assessment of individuals with uniquely adaptive adjustments. I then offer an alternative account of natural goodness that avoids this problem. Instead of relying on generic statements about a species, my account defines natural goodness based on counterfactual conditionals describing the modal properties of a single individual. I argue that this modal‐explanatory account gives a conception of natural goodness that is more intuitively plausible and better suited to capture the diversity and plasticity distinctive of life.
Keywords individualism  invariance  natural goodness  natural history  neo-Aristotelian naturalism  teleological explanation
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Reprint years 2022
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12751
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References found in this work BETA

In Defense of Proper Functions.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (June):288-302.

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Citations of this work BETA

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