Nature as Reason Paperback

A Thomistic Theory of the Natural Law

by Jean Porter;

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Nature as Reason

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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.





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

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

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

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

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


Index of Proper Names

Index of Subjects

Nature as Reason by Jean Porter was published by Eerdmans Publishing Company in April 2005 and is our 28231st best seller. The ISBN for Nature as Reason is 9780802849069.

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Details for Nature as Reason

Author / Artist
Book Formatpaperback
PublisherEerdmans Publishing Company (April 2005)
Number of Pages436
Thickness22 mm
Height234 mm
Width156 mm
Product Code99590
Page last updated 23rd December 2015
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