Anscombe on the Sources of Normativity

Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (1):141-163 (2017)
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Anscombe is usually seen as a critic of “Modern Moral Philosophy.” I attempt a systematic reconstruction and a defense of Anscombe’s positive theory. Anscombe’s metaethics is a hybrid of social constructivism and Aristotelian naturalism. Her three main claims are the following: (1) We cannot trace all duties back to one moral principle; there is more than one source of normativity. (2) Whether I have a certain duty will often be determined by the social practices of my community. For instance, duties imposed by other people’s rights are socially constructed. (3) Whether something constitutes a good, however, will often be determined by human nature—which is not socially constructed.
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