Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Philippa Foot (1920 – 2010)

My interest in Aristotelianism began as an interest in Aristotelian ethics, specifically. It was sparked by my discovery of the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Philippa Foot while I was still an undergraduate. A close associate of Elizabeth Anscombe, Foot was among the key thinkers responsible for the revival of Aristotelian themes in ethics, and of “virtue ethics” in particular. Her books Virtues and Vices and Natural Goodness are among the best things written in contemporary moral philosophy. Here and here are the obituaries from The Telegraph and The Guardian; some reflections from Lawrence Solum; and an interview reprinted by The Philosophers’ Magazine. RIP.


  1. Any taste for Foot's friend (and Dawkins's nemesis #*&$&), Mary Migdley?

  2. Midgley? I looked this woman up on the Wikipedia. First, for the Wikipedia (which is run by bias Atheist liberal sad sacks) it seemed like a fair article. Second, in regards to Midgley, I think I'm in love! Please nobody tell my wife Rosemarie. Wow! She's like a female version of Dave Stove!!!!!

    Mary baby!!!

  3. BenYachov:

    Yes, Midgley is pretty awesome. (Your secret's safe with me.) She raised 4 kids or so and then turned to serious academic writing in her sixties, I think. Rather like Whitehead's late but astounding blossoming as a philosopher. I recommend _Science and Poetry_ and _Metaphors We Live By_.


  4. Thanks for the post. I just got her Virtues and Vices and am really liking it so far. (I tried getting a copy of Natural Goodness, but, alas, our local bookstore was only selling it at an exorbitant price.)

    One of the obituaries you linked to said she shared a flat with Dame Iris Murdoch. How cool is that?