By Anthony J. Lisska

ISBN-10: 0198269676

ISBN-13: 9780198269670

This new critique of Aquinas's thought of usual legislation provides an incisive, new research of the valuable subject matters and correct texts within the Summa Theologiae which turned the classical canon for ordinary legislation. Professor Lisska discusses Aquinas's view of moral naturalism in the context of the modern revival and restoration of Aristotelian ethics, arguing that Aquinas is essentially Aristotelian within the foundations of his ethical thought. The booklet appears on the ancient improvement of normal legislation topics within the 20th century, and specifically demonstrates the $64000 connections among Aquinas and modern felony philosophers. The publication will be of substantial curiosity to students of jurisprudence in addition to philosophers.

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Extra resources for Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law: An Analytic Reconstruction

Sample text

It was Professor Veatch’s marvellous analysis of contemporary meta-ethics, For an Ontology of Morals, which first stimulated my own rethinking of Aquinas on natural law and suggested creative ways to reconsider Aquinas’s meta-ethics. Ed and Abby Holtz (Ed, a good friend and Trustee-Emeritus of Denison University) kindly introduced me to Henry and Janie Veatch, friends of theirs, when both lived in Georgetown during the time Professor Veatch served as Chair of the Philosophy Department at Georgetown University.

This moral theory, therefore, is called a ‘second order inquiry’. It is dependent upon the ontological analysis of the human person. Moral theory is thus dependent and not autonomous. The first part of this chapter is an extended sketch of twentieth-century jurisprudence with special emphasis on those philosophers of law who have suggested a role for moral theory as a necessary condition for an adequate legal theory. The second major part of the chapter provides a sketch of the recent work by analytic philosophers who have brought the moral accounts in Aristotle and Aquinas to the forefront of ethical theory-making in the twentieth century.

In The Concept of Law, Hart ponders what he refers to as the ‘core of good sense’ in natural law thinking. This he spells out in terms of ‘natural necessities’, which he refers to as ‘the minimum content of natural law’. Like Hobbes before him, Hart considers ‘survival’ to be the central linchpin in human existence and the ‘necessity’ which in principle cannot be overridden by the law. Hart attempts to identify certain salient facts about the human species — what existentialist philosophers might call the human condition — which make moral and legal systems understandable and necessary.

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Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law: An Analytic Reconstruction by Anthony J. Lisska


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