With great sadness we note the death of Philippa Foot (1920-2010) on Oct 3, her 90th birthday. She died peacefully after a series of illnesses.
Philippa’s thought was important in recent developments of ethics, perhaps most especially her views on virtue ethics. “One of the towering figures of post-WWII Anglophone moral philosophy, Brian Leiter reminds us. She will be particularly deeply missed by her many students and friends.
Sometimes someone might be inclined to treat her arguments as allowing easy refutation. I have always wished for them the sort of interchange many of her students may remember well. One version, familiar at least among some, started as a response to some view one proposed: “O, you think that, do you? Hmmm. Now let me see. I don’t think I’ve ever thought that could be right. But let’s think. I could just be quite wrong.” Her voice light but quite firm, eyes sparkling.
We will put up links to obituaries as they appear.
Lesley Brown sent the guardian obit.
More about Foot here.