The Problem of Natural Law

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August 2007



The Problem of Natural Law examines the understanding of conscience offered by Thomas Aquinas, who provided the classic statement of natural law. The book suggests that natural law theory could be improved by bracketing Thomistic conscience and then shows how a natural law position thus revised would be able to answer the most important critics of natural law in contemporary times.


Chapter 1 Introduction: Identifying the Problem Part 2 Part I: The Pre-Modern Critics of Thomistic Conscience Chapter 3 Chapter 1: Conscience in Thomas's Understanding of Natural Law Chapter 4 Chapter 2: The Objections of the Ancient Philosophers Chapter 5 Chapter 3: The Objections of the Calvinist Christians Part 6 Part II: The Question of Revision Chapter 7 Chapter 4: On the Possibility of Revising Thomas's Teaching on Conscience Part 8 Part III: Answering Modern Critics of Natural Law Chapter 9 Chapter 5: Those Who Deny the Existence of Human Nature Chapter 10 Chapter 6: Those Who Deny the Moral Relevancy of Human Nature Chapter 11 Chapter 7: Those Who Deny the Ancient Understanding of Human Nature


Douglas Kries is associate professor of philosophy at Gonzaga University.


Kries gives us an intelligent analysis of Aquinas's theory of conscience, with some very revealing historical detective work at its foundation. What is more, Kries's book contains one of the best discussions I have seen of the fundamental problem of any natural law doctrine: whether there really is something like a natural conscience through which human beings learn their duties. Particularly valuable is Kries's discussion of the leading contemporary challenges to natural law. -- Thomas G. West Kries's treatment of traditional natural law arguments is sophisticated and refreshing...Recommended. -- May 2008 CHOICE Kries gives a useful exposition of the historical evolution of synderesis. The Problem of Natural Law takes us close to the heart of the problem. Anyone interested in something more than slogans about natural law will want to read the book. -- Russell Hittinger First Things Since John Finnis's pioneering work, books and essays on natural law have continued to come forth in the past thirty years. Douglas Kries's new book serves a special purpose in this regard. It puts into order the main schools of thought that would reject or interpret natural law in a non-Thomistic framework. Kries sees the point of the various objections and their historic sources. He is a clear writer and puts the whole issue of natural law in a light that fairly considers the objections and sees how a natural law thinker would deal with them. This is a very worthy and valuable contribution. -- James V. Schall, S. J., Georgetown University
EAN: 9780739120361
ISBN: 0739120360
Untertitel: 'Applications of Political Theo'. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: August 2007
Seitenanzahl: 193 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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