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Natural Law and Natural Rights

ISBN-10: 0199599149
ISBN-13: 9780199599141
Edition: 2nd 2011
Authors: John Finnis
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Description: First published in 1980, Natural Law and Natural Rights is widely heralded as a seminal contribution to the philosophy of law, and an authoritative restatement of natural law doctrine. It has offered generations of students and other readers a  More...

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Book details

Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 4/7/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 500
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.418
Language: English

First published in 1980, Natural Law and Natural Rights is widely heralded as a seminal contribution to the philosophy of law, and an authoritative restatement of natural law doctrine. It has offered generations of students and other readers a thorough grounding in the central issues of legal, moral, and political philosophy from Finnis's distinctive perspective. This new edition includes a substantial postscript by the author, in which he responds to thirty years ofdiscussion, criticism and further work in the field to develop and refine the original theory.The book closely integrates the philosophy of law with ethics, social theory and political philosophy. The author develops a sustained and substantive argument; it is not a review of other people's arguments but makes frequent illustrative and critical reference to classical, modern, and contemporary writers in ethics, social and political theory, and jurisprudence.The preliminary First Part reviews a century of analytical jurisprudence to illustrate the dependence of every descriptive social science upon evaluations by the theorist. A fully critical basis for such evaluations is a theory of natural law. Standard contemporary objections to natural law theory are reviewed and shown to rest on serious misunderstandings.The Second Part develops in ten carefully structured chapters an account of: basic human goods and basic requirements of practical reasonableness, community and 'the common good'; justice; the logical structure of rights-talk; the bases of human rights, their specification and their limits; authority, and the formation of authoritative rules by non-authoritative persons and procedures; law, the Rule of Law, and the derivation of laws from the principles of practical reasonableness; the complexrelation between legal and moral obligation; and the practical and theoretical problems created by unjust laws.A final Part develops a vigorous argument about the relation between 'natural law', 'natural theology' and 'revelation' - between moral concern and other ultimate questions.

Abbreviations
Evaluation and the Description of Law
The Formation of Concepts for Descriptive Social Science
Attention to Practical Point
Selection of Central Case and Focal Meaning
Selection of Viewpoint
The Theory of Natural Law
Notes
Images and Objections
Natural Law and Theories of Natural Law
Legal Validity and Morality
The Variety of Human Opinions and Practices
The Illicit Inference from Facts to Norms
Hume and Clarke on 'Is' and 'Ought'
Clarke's Antecedents
The 'Perverted Faculty' Argument
Natural Law and the Existence and Will of God
Notes
A Basic Form of Good: Knowledge
An Example
From Inclination to Grasp of Value
Practical Principle and Participation in Value
The Self-evidence of the Good of Knowledge
'Object of Desire' and Objectivity
Scepticism about this Basic Value is Indefensible
Notes
The Other Basic Values
Theoretical Studies of 'Universal' Values
The Basic Forms of Human Good: A Practical Reflection
Life
Knowledge
Play
Aesthetic experience
Sociability (friendship)
Practical reasonableness
'Religion'
An Exhaustive List?
All Equally Fundamental
Is Pleasure the Point of It All?
Notes
The Basic Requirements of Practical Reasonableness
The Good of Practical Reasonableness Structures Our Pursuit of Goods
A Coherent Plan of Life
No Arbitrary Preferences Amongst Values
No Arbitrary Preferences Amongst Persons
Detachment and Commitment
The (Limited) Relevance of Consequences: Efficiency, Within Reason
Respect for Every Basic Value in Every Act
The Requirements of the Common Good
Following One's Conscience
The Product of these Requirements: Morality
Notes
Community, Communities, and Common Good
Reasonableness and Self-interest
Types of Unifying Relationship
'Business' Community and 'Play' Community
Friendship
'Communism' and 'Subsidiarity'
Complete Community
The Existence of a Community
The Common Good
Notes
Justice
Elements of Justice
General Justice
Distributive Justice
Criteria of Distributive Justice
Commutative Justice
Justice and the State
An Example of Justice: Bankruptcy
Notes
Rights
'Natural', 'Human', or 'Moral' Rights
An Analysis of Rights-talk
Are Duties 'Prior to' Rights?
Rights and the Common Good
The Specification of Rights
Rights and Equality of Concern and Respect
Absolute Human Rights
Notes
Authority
The Need for Authority
The Meanings of 'Authority'
Formation of Conventions or Customary Rules
The Authority of Rulers
'Bound By Their Own Rules'?
Notes
Law
Law and Coercion
Unjust Punishment
The Main Features of Legal Order
The Rule of Law
Limits of the Rule of Law
A Definition of Law
Derivation of 'Positive' from 'Natural' Law
Notes
Obligation
'Obligation', 'Ought', and Rational Necessity
Promissory Obligation
Variable and Invariant Obligatory Force
'Legally Obligatory': the Legal Sense and the Moral Sense
Contractual Obligation in Law: Performance or Compensation?
Legal Obligation in the Moral Sense: Performance or Submission to Penalty?
Obligation and Legislative Will
'Reason' and 'Will' in Decision, Legislation, and Compliance with Law
Moral Obligation and God's Will
Notes
Unjust Laws
A Subordinate Concern of Natural Law Theory
Types of Injustice in Law
Effects of Injustice on Obligation
'Lex Injusta Non Est Lex'
Notes
Nature, Reason, God
Further Questions about the Point of Human Existence
Orders, Disorders, and the Explanation of Existence
Divine Nature and 'Eternal Law': Speculation and Revelation
Natural Law as 'Participation of Eternal Law'
Concluding Reflections on the Point and Force of Practical Reasonableness
Notes
Postscript
Bibliography
Index

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