Ergon and Practical Reason. Anscombe’s Legacy and Natural Normativity

Acta Philosophica 32 (2):400-406 (2023)
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Abstract

One of Elizabeth Anscombe’s most decisive legacies is the rejection of modern legalistic morality, in the name of a rescue of Aristotelian-inspired natural normativity. However, as I will argue in this contribution, this legacy does not seem to have been fully collected, neither by those who, like Philippa Foot, are explicitly inspired by Anscombe’s work, nor by those who, while apparently opposing its assumptions, have also somehow recovered it by different routes, as emblematically does Christine Korsgaard in her constitutivist proposal. In more detail, I aim to explore the relationship between teleology and normativity at the crossroads between neo-Aristotelian naturalism and constitutivism: both theories, though opposed, rest normativity on a link between function (the Aristotelian ergon) and practical reason and fail precisely in declining this relationship convincingly.

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Maria Silvia Vaccarezza
Università degli Studi di Genova

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