1920 – 2010
Who was Philippa Foot?
Philippa Ruth Foot was a British philosopher, most notable for her works in ethics. She was one of the founders of contemporary virtue ethics, that was originally based on the ethics of Aristotle. Her later career marked a significant change in view from her work in the 1950s and '60s, and may be seen as an attempt to modernize Aristotelian ethical theory, to show that it is adaptable to a contemporary world view, and thus, that it could compete with such popular theories as modern deontological and utilitarian ethics. Some of her work was crucial in the re-emergence of normative ethics within analytic philosophy, especially her critique of consequentialism. A familiar example is the continuing discussion of an example of hers referred to as the trolley problem. Foot's approach was influenced by the later work of Wittgenstein, although she rarely dealt explicitly with materials treated by him.
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