The Historical And Contemporary Significance of Anscombe and Foot's Metaethical Thought

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Degree type
PhD
Graduate group
Philosophy
Discipline
Philosophy
Subject
Anscombe
Aristotle
Foot
Neo-Aristotelian
Reasons
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Copyright date
01/01/2022
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Musso, Paul, A
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Abstract

In this dissertation, I argue that Anscombe and Foot’s metaethical thought was not onlysignificant for the history of metaethics in the twentieth-century, but continues to be significant for contemporary thought. In Part One, I argue that the historical significance of Anscombe and Foot’s metaethical thought consisted in their revival and unique development of an approach to metaethics called Ethical Naturalism, which was a philosophical position that had all but disappeared from the theoretical map for several decades. Additionally, I argue that their work was historically significant for showing the relevance of Wittgenstein’s late theoretical philosophy for ethics and metaethics. In Part Two, I argue that the unique brand of Ethical Naturalism that was initially articulated by Anscombe and Foot has opened up exciting new pathways in contemporary metaethics. In particular, it made possible the development of a family of views called “Neo- Aristotelian Naturalism”, according to which it is possible to explain objective normative truths in terms of natural facts about what human beings are like. I argue that Neo- Aristotelian Naturalism is a promising, yet underdeveloped, position in contemporary metaethics.

Advisor
Lord, Errol
Date of degree
2022
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