Document Type : Scientific-research


1 Department of philosophy, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Throughout history, “the objectivity of moral concepts and judgments” has been an issue of crucial importance to a great number of philosophers. Philippa Foot, a British philosopher, and one of the founders of the contemporary virtue ethics, is among the most inspiring philosophers regarding this issue and her last theory regarding it is well known as an influential project. In this theory, Philippa Foot contends that moral judgments belong to the category of judgments, which are based on natural goodness. In this view, natural goodness of an organism will be extracted based on the “life-form” of its species. After a brief Explanation of philippa Foot’s theory regarding the objectivity of moral concepts and judgments, in this article, by formulating a dialogue between her critics and advocates, we attempt to analyze the theory of natural goodness and show that the struggle between the opponents and proponents is due to different interpretations of “human life”; interpretations based on happiness and agency. Although the interpretation based on agency can defend foot’s theory of natural goodness against some critiques, it creates different set of questions and problems which should be considered.

Keywords: Philippa Foot, the objectivity of moral concepts and judgments, natural goodness, evolutionary biology, ethical subjectivism


Main Subjects

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