20 Pages

Being, the Good, and the Guise of the Good


The aim of this essay is to put forward an exposition and defence of the Aristotelian-Thomistic (A-T) conception of the good and, in particular, of the theses that goodness is convertible with being and that all action is directed at the good. The former thesis will be defended against the objection, long standing within modern philosophy, that there is a “fact-value dichotomy” such that any attempt to derive claims about goodness from claims about the existence and nature of things commits a “naturalistic fallacy”. The latter thesis will be defended against the recent criticisms of J. David Velleman. The application of the theses in question to the natural law approach to ethics and to natural theology will be noted in the course of the discussion.