Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-gbqfq Total loading time: 0.334 Render date: 2022-05-23T21:00:06.085Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Chapter 4 - Cosmic Outlooks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 January 2020

David McPherson
Affiliation:
Creighton University, Omaha
Get access

Summary

I make the case that neo-Aristotelian virtue ethicists need to address the question of the meaning of life (i.e., the question of how our lives fit into the grand scheme of things and whether there is a cosmic or ultimate source of meaning to which we must align our lives). I examine Bernard Williams’ forceful challenge that evolutionary science has done away with the sort of teleological worldview that is needed in order to make sense of an Aristotelian ethical perspective. I consider Hursthouse’s response to Williams’ challenge and argue that it is not sufficient. I also argue against McDowell’s quietism according to which we should remain content with the strong evaluative meanings that arise for us within a particular acquired ethical outlook (e.g., our sense of the noble) and not seek to provide any ontological grounding or justification for them beyond appealing to our second nature. I contend that what we need is in fact a teleological worldview. Against Williams, I argue that there is no necessary incompatibility between evolutionary science and a teleological worldview, and indeed there is some good reason to affirm such a worldview.

Type
Chapter
Information
Virtue and Meaning
A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective
, pp. 115 - 149
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Cosmic Outlooks
  • David McPherson, Creighton University, Omaha
  • Book: Virtue and Meaning
  • Online publication: 09 January 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108775151.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Cosmic Outlooks
  • David McPherson, Creighton University, Omaha
  • Book: Virtue and Meaning
  • Online publication: 09 January 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108775151.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Cosmic Outlooks
  • David McPherson, Creighton University, Omaha
  • Book: Virtue and Meaning
  • Online publication: 09 January 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108775151.005
Available formats
×