Monday, August 12, 2019

Georg Henrik von Wright and Philippa Foot

In Varieties of Goodness, Georg Henrik von Wright  as given a chapter to the discussion of the philosophy of virtues—he criticizes and departs from the traditional Aristotelian and Thomistic doctrine of virtues. Philippa Foot believes that while Henrik is right in opening the subject, there is more to the subject than he allows. In her essay “Von Wright on Virtue,” (Chapter 7; Moral Dilemmas: and other topics in moral philosophy), Foot writes: "Kant’s dictum about logic—that it had made no real progress since Aristotle—could, he says, be applied with at least equally good justification to the ethics of virtue, and he seems to see the future development of the philosophy of the virtues in terms of radical change. So he sets out to shape a new concept of virtue and one sees how far von Wright is prepared to go in throwing over old doctrines when one realizes that he is happy with a definition which explodes two of the four cardinal virtues of ancient and medieval morality."

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