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Title: I limiti del naturalismo in etica
Authors: Mordacci, Roberto
Keywords: naturalismreductionism
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Roberto Mordacci, "I limiti del naturalismo in etica", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, IX (2007) 2, pp. 194-200.
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
IX (2007) 2
Philippa Foot’s Natural Goodness is a restatement of a naturalistic theory of ethics. It is an
interesting book for many reasons, since the author changes her position from a broadly
Humean position to a more thoroughly Aristotelian one. Foot criticizes the non-cognitivist
stance and various forms of expressivism and utilitarianism. She now declares that there are
categorical imperatives, a thesis she used to deny. These imperatives are based on the idea
of «patterns of natural normativity» which depend on the forms of life we are talking about.
Human life needs practical rationality in order to flourish, and this means to have a rational
will, without «volitional defect». Yet, this strategy confines practical rationality to an instrumental
value and, more importantly, it can’t stand the objection that, after all, being human
or flourishing as human may not be a normative ideal, e.g. from a Nietzschean point of
view. Only if the will has an intrinsic side constraint as pure will, the Nietzschean objection
can be faced: even a Will of Power cannot will against itself. But it can still will against nature.
Naturalism, at least in this version, cannot face such a challenge.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2007) IX/2

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