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On Virtue Ethics$
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Rosalind Hursthouse

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247998

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199247994.001.0001

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(p.192) 9 Naturalism
On Virtue Ethics

Rosalind Hursthouse (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Virtues are those character traits that make a human being a good human being— those traits that human beings need to live well as human beings, to live a characteristically human life. Ethical evaluations of human beings as good or bad are taken to be analogous to evaluations of other living things as good or bad specimens of their kind, as Foot has argued. This naturalism reveals that several features of ethical evaluation thought to be peculiar to it, and inimical to its objectivity, are present in the quasi‐scientific evaluation, even of plants.

Keywords:   ethical evaluation, ethical naturalism, Philippa Foot, good human being, virtues

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