This month we’ll look at Philippa Foot’s moral philosophy. We already know she’s a great letter-writer!
We’ve chosen three pieces from both ends of her philosophical career. The first two are from the 1950s. ‘When is a principle a moral principle?’ (recommended to us by Cora Diamond – see her comment below), and ‘Moral Arguments‘. These are attacks on the non-cognitivism of R. M. Hare – the same target we saw in Anscombe’s work of the same time. Note that the second paper was written the same year as Anscombe’s ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’ and four-years before Murdoch’s ‘The Idea of Perfection’. You might also want to look at ‘Moral Beliefs’, a sister paper written by Foot in the same year. Don’t be fooled by the polite tone of these papers – this is a gloves-off attack on her colleagues’ work. Finally, are going to look again at Natural Goodness, this time, chs 1 and 2.
- 1954. ‘When is a principle a moral principle?’. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes Vol. 28, Belief and Will, pp. 95-134
- 1958 ‘Moral Arguments’. Mind, Vol. 67. Reprinted in her Virtues and Vices.
- 2001. Natural Goodness, chs 1 and 2. Oxford University Press.
We’ll be meeting to discuss them on 30th September 2016 and will post live on twitter #InParenthesisRG. Join us!
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