- The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy
- The Late Ancient Background to Medieval Philosophy
- Greek Philosophy
- Arabic Philosophy and Theology before Avicenna
- Avicenna and Afterwards
- Averroes and Philosophy in Islamic Spain
- Medieval Jewish Philosophy in Arabic
- Jewish Philosophy in Hebrew
- Latin Philosophy to 1200
- Latin Philosophy, 1200–1350
- Latin Philosophy, 1350–1550
- Medieval Philosophy after the Middle Ages
- Logical Form
- Logical Consequence
- Meaning: Foundational and Semantic Theories
- Mental Language
- States of Affairs
- Parts, Wholes and Identity
- Material Substance
- Mind and Hylomorphism
- Body and Soul
- Scepticism and Metaphysics
- Freedom of the Will
- Moral Intention
- Virtue and Law
- Natural Law
- Arguments for the Existence of God
- Philosophy and the Trinity
Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses the meta-ethical presuppositions necessary for understanding the ethical naturalism common to several contemporary natural law arguments. This analysis, while conscious of the historical antecedents in medieval Aristotelianism with special reference to Thomas Aquinas, concentrates on the contemporary thrust of natural law discussions. Natural law theory at its best has a realist foundation based on human persons; this moral theory has rationality articulated as a necessary condition and is thoroughly cognizant of the common good or the public interest. The article attempts to spell out the set of conditions necessary for natural law, and moral and legal theory, through an analysis of the writings of several contemporary analytical philosophers and the role these central metaphysical concepts play in the respective theories.
Anthony J. Lisska is Maria Theresa Barney Professor of Philosophy at Denison University, and was the 1994 Carnegie Foundation United States Baccalaureate Colleges Professor of the Year and the 2006 President of the American Catholic Philosophical Association. His Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law was published in 1996; recent essays have appeared in The Routledge Companion to Ethics, Semiotica, and A History of the Philosophy of Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics.
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