System naturalnej normatywności Philippy Foot


It is a critical study of Philippa Foot’s conception of natural normativity set forth in her recent book Natural Goodness (Clarendon Press, Oxford 2001). The book is essentially devoted to two main subjects. The first one consists of presentation of a new, naturalistic and objectivistic, metaethical standpoint. When viewed from this standpoint, evaluations of characteristics and operations of all living things (including moral evaluative judgements of human features and actions) share the same structure. In virtue of that structure, goodness or badness ascribed to an individual organism are determined by the relation of that individual to its life form. The second significant theme of Natural Goodness deals with the relationship between morality and practical rationality. Goodness of an act is a necessary condition of that act being practically rational. The author’s general assessment of Ph. Foot’s book is rather negative. Her argument seems to lack methodological order, coherence and intellectual clarity. The very conception of natural normativity seems to contain a lot of fundamental flaws. It precludes, e.g. the possibility that any living thing could be evaluated as bad.