Virtues and Reasons: Philippa Foot and Moral Theory: Essays by Rosalind Hursthouse, Gavin Lawrence, Warren Quinn

By Rosalind Hursthouse, Gavin Lawrence, Warren Quinn

Philippa Foot is among the most unusual and largely revered philosophers of our time; her paintings has exerted an enduring impact at the improvement of ethical philosophy. In tribute to her, twelve best philosophers from each side of the Atlantic have contributed essays exploring a few of the subject matters in ethical philosophy to which she has made a particular contribution--virtue ethics, naturalism, non-cognitivism, relativism, specific necessities, and the position of rationality in morality.

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Extra resources for Virtues and Reasons: Philippa Foot and Moral Theory: Essays in Honour of Philippa Foot

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Whether they move us or not is contingent, and the hope that they do remains a hope, underpinned by nothing but education, good breeding, and whatever else enables social life to survive without catastrophe. If we substitute for Hume's is-ought gap a recognize--act gap, then ethics seems to be placed on the 'recognize' side, and the gap to action is filled, when it is, only by the correct sentiments of good people. If we ask what it is that is recognized, Foot can draw upon the common consensus: we know what ethical considerations are, and the range from which they come, whatever difficulties we have in drawing boundaries and assessing rankings.

Approval, and other ethical states such as recognition of a trait as a virtue, seem to require neutralizing if they are to be ineffective in directing action. We cannot generalize from cases in which they have been neutralized and suppose that they have nothing essentially active about them, any more than we can generalize from the listless lover, and suppose that love has nothing essentially to do with being drawn towards the object of the passion. An analogy would be the association of beauty and pleasure.

23 I am indebted to Michael Smith for the line of thought of this para. 21 2The Flight to Reality13F not off the runway. And so far as this part of the argument goes, that is how it appears. 24 Nevertheless, we can see how the seamless approach might continue. 25 A geneticpsychological theory might try to describe the development of ethical thought either in societies through long times, or in infants in shorter times. But an analyticphilosophical theory will be a different thing. Its subject is mature, adult experience and 'it will be important to run no risk of characterizing mature sensible experience in terms adequate at best only for the characterization of some stage of infantile experience'.

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