Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Andrew I. Cohen - Chair

Second Advisor

Andrew Altman

Third Advisor

Andrew J. Cohen


Several contemporary virtue ethicists have provided systematic presentations of normative virtue ethics. The virtue ethical literature, however, does not contain much information on the meta-ethical roots of virtue theories. The present paper seeks to address this deficiency by examining the neo-Aristotelianism of Rosalind Hursthouse in an effort to ascertain what meta-ethical commitments are most consistent with her theory; these commitments are shown to be cognitivism, objectivism, and (in some form) naturalism. These positions are then put into dialogue with Moore’s seminal metaethical arguments against naturalism and agent-relative value. Ultimately I show that the literature on normative virtue ethics is rich enough to provide powerful responses to Moorean criticisms.

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Philosophy Commons