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Philosophy - Value Theory | The Threads of Natural Law - Unravelling a Philosophical Tradition

The Threads of Natural Law

Unravelling a Philosophical Tradition

Contreras, Francisco José (Ed.)

2013, XXII, 242 p.

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  • Revisits key moments in intellectual and social history, with an eye to extracting valuable lessons for ideological conflicts in the present 
  • A timely work that enables moral and legal dialogue between traditions holding apparently clashing world-views such as at present
  • Highlights why Natural Law repeatedly furnished human beings with a shared grammar in times of moral and cultural crisis
  • Has close connections with current discussions on cultural relativism, bioethics, etc ​

The notion of “natural law” has repeatedly furnished human beings with a shared grammar in times of moral and cultural crisis. Stoic natural law, for example, emerged precisely when the Ancient World lost the Greek polis, which had been the point of reference for Plato's and Aristotle's political philosophy. In key moments such as this, natural law has enabled moral and legal dialogue between peoples and traditions holding apparently clashing world-views. This volume revisits some of these key moments in intellectual and social history, partly with an eye to extracting valuable lessons for ideological conflicts in the present and perhaps near future. The contributions to this volume discuss both historical and contemporary schools of natural law. Topics on historical schools of natural law include: how Aristotelian theory of rules paved the way for the birth of the idea of "natural law"; the idea's first mature account in Cicero's work; the tension between two rival meanings of “man’s rational nature” in Aquinas’ natural law theory; and the scope of Kant’s allusions to “natural law”. Topics on contemporary natural law schools include: John Finnis's and Germain Grisez's “new natural law theory”; natural law theories in a "broader" sense, such as Adolf Reinach’s legal phenomenology; Ortega y Gasset’s and Scheler’s “ethical perspectivism”; the natural law response to Kelsen’s conflation of democracy and moral relativism; natural law's role in 20th century international law doctrine; Ronald Dworkin’s understanding of law as “a branch of political morality”; and Alasdair Macintyre’s "virtue"-based approach to natural law.​

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Alasdair MacIntyre and Natural Law - Anthropology and Legal Philosophy - Aquinas’ Natural Law - Aristotle on Practical Rules - Cicero and Natural Law - Dworkin and the Natural Law Tradition - God and Natural Law - Man’s Rational Nature in Aquinas’ Natural Law Theory - Natural Law Democracy - Natural Law Theories in 20th Century International Law - Natural Law Tradition - Natural Law and the Phenomenological Given - New Natural Law Theory - Perspectivism and Natural Law - Plato's and Aristotle's Political Philosophy - Reflections on Genesis 22 - Stoic natural law

Related subjects » Anthropology & Archaeology - Law - Value Theory

Table of contents 

About the Authors.- Foreword; Francisco José Contreras.- 1. Aristotle on Practical Rules, Universality, and Law; Jesús Vega.- 2. Cosmopolitanism and Natural Law in Cicero; Fernando Llano.- 3. Natural Law: Autonomous or Heteronomous? The Thomistic Perspective; Diego Poole.- 4. The Competing Sources of Aquinas’ Natural Law: Aristotle, Roman Law and the Early Christian Fathers; Anna Taitslin.- 5. God and Natural Law: Reflections on Genesis 22; Matthew Levering.- 6. Natural Right and Coercion; Ana Marta González.- 7. Natural Law and the Phenomenological Given; Marta Albert.- 8. Perspectivism and Natural Law; Ignacio Sánchez Cámara.- 9. International Law and the Natural Law Tradition: The Influence of Verdross and Kelsen on Legaz Lacambra; María Elósegui.- 10. Natural Law Theory in Spain and Portugal; Antonio E. Pérez Luño.- 11. Is the “New Natural Law Theory” Actually a Natural Law Theory?; Francisco José Contreras.- 12. Alasdair MacIntyre on Natural Law ; Rafael Ramis-Barceló.- 13. Dworkin and the Natural Law Tradition; María Lourdes Santos.- 14. Public Reason, Secularism, and Natural Law; Iván Garzón.

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