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Philosophy Commons

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2016

Philosophy of Science

University of Kentucky

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Becoming What We Are: Virtue And Practical Wisdom As Natural Ends, Keith Buhler Jan 2016

Becoming What We Are: Virtue And Practical Wisdom As Natural Ends, Keith Buhler

Theses and Dissertations--Philosophy

This dissertation is about ethical naturalism. Philippa Foot and John McDowell both defend contemporary neo-Aristotelian ethics but each represents a rival expression of the same. They are united in the affirmation that virtue is ‘natural goodness’ for human beings. Nevertheless, they are divided in their rival conceptions of ‘nature.’ McDowell distinguishes second nature or the "space of reasons" from first nature or the “realm of law.” Foot rejects this division.

On Foot's naturalism, natural goodness is just as much a feature of first nature as health is, even though human practical reasoning is unique in the biological world. I ...