Naomi Fisher

Naomi  Fisher
  • Loyola University of Chicago
  • Assistant Professor
  • Affiliation During NDIAS Fellowship: University of Notre Dame
  • Graduate Fellow (2014-2015)
  • "Natural Reason: Rationality as Emerging out of Animal Nature"

Naomi Fisher is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. Her research explores connections between the philosophy of science, philosophy of perception, and the history of philosophy. In particular, she focuses on how conceptions of the relationship between rationality and nature evolved in post-Kantian philosophy. Her dissertation examines themes of cognition, experience, and action in Kant and Schelling, particularly with respect to how these philosophers accommodate animal cognition and behaviors into their systems. She then applies the lessons learned from this period to contemporary philosophy.

Ms. Fisher has presented her research at several conferences in the areas of the history of philosophy and the philosophy of science, and has received funding for and coordinated an ongoing interdisciplinary workshop series at Notre Dame, focusing on the relationship between philosophy and history. In addition, she has served as an editorial assistant for the Internationales Jahrbuch des deutschen Idealismus.

Ms. Fisher has received several grants, including a Nanovic Institute Travel and Research Grant for research in Germany, an Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts-Mellon Grant for interdisciplinary workshops, and several other research and language training grants.


  • Natural and Ethical Normativity

    The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 2016

    Naomi Fisher

    In this paper, I argue that ethical normativity can be grounded in the natural normativity of organisms without being reducible to it. Michael Thompson and Philippa Foot both offer forms of neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalism; I argue that both accounts have gaps that point toward the need for a constructive virtue ethics grounded in natural normativity. Similarly, Korsgaard’s constructivist ethics ignores the ongoing relevance of natural norms in human ethical life. I thus offer an account according to which the self-shaping activity of human organisms supplements and transforms natural normativity, giving rise to ethical norms. Such an account grounds human ethical distinctiveness in rationality without excluding nonrational humans from the ethical community. In the final section of the paper, I argue that ethical standards can be discovered (or hidden) through human activities, thus allowing for gradual progression (or regression) in ethical knowledge, both on individual and cultural levels.

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