First published in 1980, Natural Law and Natural Rights is widely heralded as a seminal contribution to the philosophy of law, and an authoritative restatement of natural law doctrine. It has offered generations of students and other readers a thorough grounding in the central issues of legal, moral, and political philosophy from Finnis's distinctive perspective. This new edition includes a substantial postscript by the author, in which he responds to thirty years of discussion, criticism and further work in the field to develop and refine the original theory. The book closely integrates the philosophy of law with ethics, social theory and political philosophy. The author develops a sustained and substantive argument; it is not a review of other people's arguments but makes frequent illustrative and critical reference to classical, modern, and contemporary writers in ethics, social and political theory, and jurisprudence. The preliminary First Part reviews a century of analytical jurisprudence to illustrate the dependence of every descriptive social science upon evaluations by the theorist. A fully critical basis for such evaluations is a theory of natural law. Standard contemporary objections to natural law theory are reviewed and shown to rest on serious misunderstandings. The Second Part develops in ten carefully structured chapters an account of: basic human goods and basic requirements of practical reasonableness, community and 'the common good'; justice; the logical structure of rights-talk; the bases of human rights, their specification and their limits; authority, and the formation of authoritative rules by non-authoritative persons and procedures; law, the Rule of Law, and the derivation of laws from the principles of practical reasonableness; the complex relation between legal and moral obligation; and the practical and theoretical problems created by unjust laws. A final Part develops a vigorous argument about the relation between 'natural law', 'natural theology' and 'revelation' - between moral concern and other ultimate questions.
This book focusses on conceptual shifts in the successive formulations of natural law theory by Aquinas, Suárez, Grotius, Pufendorf, and Finnis, and reveals the accumulation of problems, inherent in natural law and theory, which ultimately led to its demise.
"In this volume J. Daryl Charles offers a trenchant response to the dearth of Protestant thinking on common-ground moral discourse. Retrieving the Natural Law restates "moral first things" and uniquely applies natural-law thinking to crucial current bioethical issues."--BOOK JACKET.
These essays are an attempt to recover something of the form, style and force of Catholic non-official social thinking in the face of contemporary social thought and contemporary injustice in advanced societies. After an opening essay by the doyen of Catholic writers in this field, Jean-Yves Calvez, SJ, the book is divided into three sections. The first and largest group of essays discuss patterns and predicaments of Catholic social thought in general terms and from different points of view. The context here is partly the debate on modernity, high-modernity and post-modernity, partly the issue of how far and in what ways Catholic Social Thought can claim to be distinctive, relative to contemporary secular thought. The second section of the book focusses on relationships between Catholic social thought and its restatement, and a number of contemporary debates on public issues. Particular attention is given, in successive essays, to issues of anti-poverty, human rights, economic theory and international finance. A third and shorter section describes a number of institutional projects which attempt to carry Catholic social values forward into concrete action, focussing on work in health and welfare, grass roots economic co-operation, anti-poverty and international peace and justice. Final contributions by the reputed international scholar in this field, John Coleman, SJ, and the book editors, respectively evaluate the collection as a whole and discuss further steps.
Modern moral and political philosophy is in debt with natural law theory, both in its ancient and mediaeval elaborations. While the very notion of a natural law has proved highly controversial among 20th Century scholars, the last decades have witnessed a renewed interest in it. Indeed, the threats and challenges as result of multiculturalism, plural societies and global changes have generated a renewed attention to natural law theory. Clearly, it offers solid basis as possible framework to a better understanding of human goods without contradictions and partial bias. The purpose of the present volume is to provide an overview of the history of this concept (Cicero, St. Paul, Aquinas, Melanchthon, Montaigne, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Burke, Kant, MacIntyre, etc.) as well as a deep understanding of ongoing research, both in Europe and in America. Furthermore, the specificity of these studies will be of particular value to philosophers, law-philosophers, historians, anthropologists, sociologists and theologians, and those concerned on such issues as the relation between law and moral norm, law and practical reason, and the presence of the idea of natural law in several prominent thinkers. It includes a selected bibliography on natural law. The book also provides an excellent introduction to several of the major topics in natural law theory making it useful both as a reference text and as a sourcebook for academics alike. "Natural law is a rich, complex, and highly disputed term. Since its first appearances in the history of Western civilization, it has been used both to point to God as the source of the moral order and to assert that there is an objective order of justice in nature that men and their laws ought to respect. In modern times, natural law theory gave birth to what we usually call “human rights.” Unlike the meaning of the term, the importance of an ongoing debate on natural law and on the theories related to it is undisputable. This is why I welcome today this new collection of essays edited by Alejandro Néstor García Martínez, Mario Šilar and José M. Torralba. Natural Law: Historical, Systematic and Juridical Approaches includes a wide variety of studies, covering key authors and issues in natural law theory. Younger students will appreciate the clarity of the chapters, and more trained readers the detailed and accurate bibliographical references that each of them offers. The editors’s choice to go from a historical approach to contemporary theories, and then to theoretical and more practical issues is also commendable. Students in philosophy and in legal theory will greatly benefit from this book." —Fulvio Di Blasi, author of God and the Natural Law: A Rereading of Thomas Aquinas
The meaning and application of the principle of beneficence to issues in health care is rarely clear or certain. Although the principle is frequently employed to justify a variety of actions and inactions, very little has been done from a conceptual point of view to test its relevance to these behaviors or to explore its relationship to other moral principles that also might be called upon to guide or justify conduct. Perhaps more than any other, the principle of benef icence seems particularly appropriate to contexts of health care in which two or more parties interact from positions of relative strength and weakness, advantage and need, to pursue some perceived goal. It is among those moral principles that Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress selected in their textbook on bioethics as applicable to biomedicine in general and relevant to a range of specific issues (, pp. 135-167). More narrowly, The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behav ioral Research identified beneficence as among those moral principles that have particular relevance to the conduct of research involving humans (2). Thus, the principle of beneficence is seen as pertinent to the routine delivery of health care, the discovery of new therapies, and the rationale of public policies related to health care.
With a newly written preface relating his theology to the current global situation, The Future of Love contains revised versions of eighteen of John Milbank's essays on theology, politics, religion, and culture--ranging from the onset of neoliberalism to its current crisis, and from the British to the global context. Many of the essays first appeared in obscure places and are thus not widely known. Also included are Milbank's most important responses to critiques of his seminal work, Theology and Social Theory. Taken together, the collection amounts to a political theology arrived at from diverse angles. This work is essential reading for all concerned with the current situation of religion in the era of globalization and with the future development of Radical Orthodoxy.
This volume presents twelve original essays by contemporary natural law theorists and their critics. Natural law theory is enjoying a revival of interest today in a variety of disciplines, including law, philosophy, political science, and theology and religious studies. These essays offer readers a sense of the lively contemporary debate among natural law theorists of different schools, as well as between natual law theorists and their critics.