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Nature as Reason

A Thomistic Theory of the Natural Law [Paperback]

by Jean Porter

    • Author

      Jean Porter

    • Book Format

      paperback

    • Publisher

      Eerdmans Publishing Company

    • Published

      December 2004

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      Nature as Reason

      Today's Price £26.86



      Product Description

      This noteworthy book develops a new theory of the natural law that takes its orientation from the account of the natural law developed by Thomas Aquinas, as interpreted and supplemented in the context of scholastic theology in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

      Though this history might seem irrelevant to twenty-first-century life, Jean Porter shows that the scholastic approach to the natural law still has much to contribute to the contemporary discussion of Christian ethics. Aquinas and his interlocutors provide a way of thinking about the natural law that is distinctively theological while at the same time remaining open to other intellectual perspectives, including those of science.

      In the course of her work, Porter examines the scholastics' assumptions and beliefs about nature, Aquinas's account of happiness, and the overarching claim that reason can generate moral norms. Ultimately, Porter argues that a Thomistic theory of the natural law is well suited to provide a starting point for developing a more nuanced account of the relationship between specific beliefs and practices. While Aquinas's approach to the natural law may not provide a system of ethical norms that is both universally compelling and detailed enough to be practical, it does offer something that is arguably more valuable — namely, a way of reflecting theologically on the phenomenon of human morality.

      Jean Porter is John O'Brien Professor of Moral Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

      Contents

      Preface

      Acknowledgments

      CHAPTER ONE
      Introduction

      The Scholastic Concept of the Natural Law
      The Modern Approach to the Natural Law
      The Later Trajectory of the Natural Law Tradition
      The Natural Law and Theological Ethics: The Proposed Project

      CHAPTER TWO
      Nature As Nature: The Roots of Natural Law

      Speculative Realism and the Natural Law: A Preliminary Consideration
      Nature and the Natural Law
      Defending a Teleological Conception of Human Nature
      Toward a Concept of Human Nature
      Ethical Naturalism, Reason, and the Natural Law

      CHAPTER THREE
      Virtue and the Happy Life

      Natural Well-Being and the Concept of Happiness
      Well-Being, Happiness, and the Practice of the Virtues
      Ideals of Virtue and Norms of Nature
      Self-Love, Neighbor Love, and the Norms of Justice
      The Happy Life, Revisited

      CHAPTER FOUR
      Nature As Reason: Act and Precept in the Natural Law

      Contemporary and Medieval Approaches to Practical Reason
      Practical Reason, Will, and First Principles
      Natural and Divine Law: The Decalogue as Moral Law
      Moral Norms as Law and Boundary
      Prudence and the Limits of Moral Knowledge

      CHAPTER FIVE
      Theological Ethics and the Natural Law

      The Natural Law as a Basis for a Christian Ethic
      From Natural Law to Human Rights
      The Paradoxical Status of Natural Rights
      Nature, Grace, and the Natural Law

      Bibliography

      Index of Proper Names

      Index of Subjects

      Specification

      • Author

        Jean Porter

      • Book Format

        paperback

      • Publisher

        Eerdmans Publishing Company

      • Published

        December 2004

      • Weight

        609g

      • Page Count

        436

      • Dimensions

        162 x 234 x 24 mm

      • ISBN

        9780802849069

      • ISBN-10

        0802849067

      • Eden Code

        99590

      More Information

      • Author/Creator: Jean Porter

      • ISBN: 9780802849069

      • Publisher: Eerdmans Publishing Company

      • Release Date: December 2004

      • Weight: 609g

      • Dimensions: 162 x 234 x 24 mm

      • Eden Code: 99590


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