RIP Philippa Foot (1920 – 2010)

It has come to my knowledge that Philippa Foot has died. Foot’s philosophical career reflected a great sea change in the character of 20th Century philosophy. While I’m sure that many qualified persons will address the impact of her life and works; it should be pointed out that Foot, alongside the likes of Hursthouse and Anscombe were responsible for the revival of Aristotle’s moral theory in a time when taking Aristotle seriously was highly suspect. Foot was also known for her engagement in the philosophical question of ‘Why be moral?’ This is pertains to an issue of how one may try to convince a hypothetical amoralist to behaving alongside agreed ethical standards, and concerning the rationality of morality. This particular issue was greatly influential on one of my Ethics tutors at Bristol during my undergraduate years. Foot will perhaps most famously be known for the so-called ‘trolley problem’. Foot’s life should be remembered for an important contribution to 20thC Ethical philosophy.