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'Species Natures: Against Aristotelian Realism ' Tim Lewens (University of Cambridge)

Egenis Seminar. Please note earlier time.

An Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences seminar
Date25 April 2016
Time13:00 to 14:30
PlaceByrne House

Philosophers of biology have had much to say--some of it positive, a lot of it negative--about efforts to formulate biologically respectable accounts of the 'natures' of humans and other species. They have had considerably less to say about prominent efforts on the part of workers in ethics--especially Philippa Foot and Michael Thompson--to develop neo-Aristotelian accounts of species natures. This talk begins with an overview of recent efforts to ground species natures in biological fact, before moving on to assess the plausibility of what I call Aristotelian Realism. I argue that the force of Thompson's transcendental argument for Aristotelian Realism has not been given due credit by critics of his position. I also argue that his argument gives better support to a position I call 'Kantian Projectivism' than it does to Thompson's own version of Aristotelian Realism.


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