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Aristotelian Virtue Ethics and the Normativity Challenge


Aristotelian virtue theorists are currently engaged in a discussion with philosophers who use psychological findings to question some of their main assumptions. In this article, I present and argue against one of these psychological challenges—Jesse Prinz’s Normativity Challenge—which rests on the claim that findings in cultural psychology contradict the Aristotelian thesis that the normativity of virtues derives from nature. First, I demonstrate that the Normativity Challenge is based on three problematic assumptions about contemporary Aristotelianism. Second, I argue that it presupposes the truth of a metaethical framework that Aristotelians reject: moral relativism.

Plusieurs éthiciens de la vertu qui se revendiquent d’Aristote débattent actuellement avec des philosophes qui emploient des données empiriques psychologiques afin de remettre en question certaines des thèses centrales qu’ils défendent. Dans cet article, j’argumente contre l’un de ces philosophes — Jesse Prinz — qui soutient que la psychologie culturelle contemporaine compromet l’idée aristotélicienne que la normativité des vertus dérive de leur caractère naturel. Dans un premier temps, je démontre que le «Normativity Challenge» de Prinz s’appuie sur trois idées préconçues problématiques au sujet de l’aristotélisme contemporain. Dans un deuxième temps, je souligne que l’argumentation de Prinz présuppose la vérité d’une doctrine métaéthique que les aristotéliciens rejettent : le relativisme moral.

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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
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