Natural Goodness

Natural Goodness

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Philippa Foot has for many years been one of the most distinctive and influential thinkers in moral philosophy. Long dissatisfied with the moral theories of her contemporaries, she has gradually evolved a theory of her own that is radically opposed not only to emotivism and prescriptivism but also to the whole subjectivist, anti-naturalist movement deriving from David Hume. Dissatisfied also with both Kantian and utilitarian ethics, she claims to have isolated a
special form of evaluation that predicates goodness and defect only to living things considered as such: she finds this form of evaluation in moral judgements. Her vivid discussion ranges over topics such as practical rationality, erring conscience, and the relation between virtue and happiness, ending
with a critique of Nietzsche's immoralism.
Natural Goodness is the long-awaited exposition of a highly original approach to moral philosophy, representing a fundamental break away from the assumptions of recent debates. Foot challenges many prominent philosophical arguments and attitudes; hers is not, however, a work of dry theory, but full of life and feeling, written for anyone intrigued by the deepest questions about goodness and human life. This beautifully written book offers a new beginning for moral
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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 135 x 204 x 6mm | 159g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 019926547X
  • 9780199265473
  • 160,535

Table of contents

1. A Fresh Start ; 2. Natural Norms ; 3. Transition to Human Beings ; 4. Practical Rationality ; 5. Human Goodness ; 6. Happiness and Human Good ; 7. Immoralism ; Postscript, Bibliography
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Review quote

In more than one sense, it is a work of great integrity. Beautifully and economically written, and powerfully argued, it will become a classic or modern moral philosophy. * Roger Crisp * I read the book with mounting pleasure in all sorts of things, not least the patient response to Nietzsche, some marvellously instructive and/or amusing examples, and the whole adventure of it all. * David Wiggins * Philippa Foot's Natural Goodness is by a long way the best modern book I have read on moral philosophy. Lucid, original and balanced, it should be a starting-point for all future discussion of the subject. * Michael Dummett * ... a short and beautifully pellucid philosophical study * John Bayley, TLS * Natural Goodness is an exciting and provoking book, more interesting than most books in moral philosophy ... What she has given us both in this book and elsewhere deserves nothing but intellectual and moral gratitude.' * Alasdair MacIntyre, Philosophical Quarterly *
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About Philippa Foot

Philippa Foot is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles, Honourary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy.
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Rating details

256 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 35% (90)
4 36% (92)
3 23% (59)
2 5% (13)
1 1% (2)
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