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Species natures: A critique of neo-aristotelian ethics

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Abstract

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title> jats:pThis paper examines the neo-Aristotelian account of species natures as ‘life-forms’, which we owe to Philippa Foot, Michael Thompson and their defenders. I begin by developing two problems for their view: a problem of underdetermination and a problem generated by psychological work on ‘folk essentialism’. I move on to consider their important transcendental argument, which suggests that claims about life-forms are presupposed by all efforts to describe the organic world. In response, I sketch a neo-Kantian projectivist position, which agrees that life-forms are presupposed in these contexts, while denying that such life-forms are real. This position makes a better sense of the phenomena cited in support of the neo-Aristotelian view, while avoiding the problems raised for that view in the first half of this paper.</jats:p>

Description

Keywords

species natures, life-forms, Philippa Foot, Michael Thompson, neo-Aristotelianism, Kantian projectivism

Journal Title

Philosophical Quarterly

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0031-8094
1467-9213

Volume Title

70

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

Rights

All rights reserved