Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture

The Normativity of the Natural

Human Goods, Human Virtues, and Human Flourishing

Editors: Cherry, Mark J. (Ed.)

  • This book critically assesses natural law theory and explores such questions as the following:
  • Is there a universal human nature?
  • Whose, or which, assumptions regarding human nature should guide our understanding of the basic goods that mark a flourishing human life?
  • Why should nature, even human nature, be thought of as a moral boundary beyond which one must not trespass?
  • What is the character of an adequate epistemology for coming to appreciate the deep nature of reality and what are its normative implications?
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About this book

Western philosophy has long nurtured the hope to resolve moral controversies through reason; thereby to secure moral direction and human meaning without the need for a defining encounter with God or the transcendent. The expectation is for a moral rationality that is universal and able adequately to frame and guide the moral life. Moral and cultural unity was sought though philosophical reflection on human nature and the basic goods of a properly nurtured and virtuous lifeā€”that is, through appeal to what has come to be called the natural law.

The natural law addresses permissible moral choice through objective understandings of human nature and human goods. Persons are obligated to act in ways that are compatible with creating and integrating the basic human goods into their lives and the lives of others. Such goods provide the basis for practical reasoning about virtuous choices and immediate reasons for action. The goal is the making of rational choices in the pursuit of a virtuous, flourishing, human life. Natural law theorists have argued extensively against human cloning, abortion, and same-gender marriage.

Yet, whose assumptions regarding human nature should guide our understanding of the basic goods that mark the full flourishing human life? Moreover, why should nature, even human nature, be thought of as a moral boundary beyond which one must not trespass? Persons may wish actively to direct human evolution, utilizing the tools of both imagination and biotechnology. Perhaps nature is simply a challenge to be addressed, overcome, and set aside.

This volume is a critical exploration of natural law theory.

Table of contents (13 chapters)

  • The Normativity of the Natural: Can Philosophers Pull Morality Out of the Magic Hat of Human Nature?

    Cherry, Mark J.

    Pages 1-13

  • Human Nature and Its Limits

    Tollefsen, Christopher

    Pages 17-31

  • Synderesis, Law, and Virtue

    McKay, Angela

    Pages 33-44

  • Human Nature and Moral Goodness

    Lee, Patrick

    Pages 45-54

  • Natural Law for Teaching Ethics: An Essential Tool and Not a Seamless Web

    Musselman, Jack Green

    Pages 55-74

Buy this book

eBook $159.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-90-481-2301-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-2300-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-8487-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Normativity of the Natural
Book Subtitle
Human Goods, Human Virtues, and Human Flourishing
Editors
  • Mark J. Cherry
Series Title
Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture
Series Volume
16
Copyright
2009
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-90-481-2301-8
DOI
10.1007/978-90-481-2301-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-90-481-2300-1
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-8487-3
Series ISSN
0928-9518
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 230
Topics