Philippa Foot’s Moral Objectivism
This chapter evaluates Philippa Foot's moral philosophy, applying the three standards she sets for a satisfactory account — namely that it should vindicate our fundamental moral commitments; explain the epistemic access humans have to moral truths within a secular framework; and provide an adequate explanation of situations where human flourishing is not to be identified with maximising survival — for the individual or the collective. It considers in turn her account of the objective qualities and defects of living things in general; her application of this to human beings and their wills; and her account of why such facts ought to motivate agents to behave well. The chapter argues that her account only meets the first of her three standards — and that what is required is a notion of objective moral correctness which transcends the species-relative property of goodness upon which Foot has to rely.
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