David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 86 (4):655-703 (2012)
The “New Natural Law” Theory (NNL) of Germain Grisez, John Finnis, Joseph Boyle, and their collaborators offers a distinctive account of intentional action, which underlies a moral theory that aims to justify many aspects of traditional morality and Catholic doctrine. In fact, we show that the NNL is committed to premises that entail the permissibility of many actions that are irreconcilable with traditional morality and Catholic doctrine, such as elective abortions. These consequences follow principally from two aspects of the NNL. The first aspect is its distinctive version of the planning theory of intention, in which adopting the 'first-person perspective' of an agent is a sufficient, and not merely necessary, condition for determining the nature of his intentional action; this planning theory rests upon an implicitly Cartesian conception of human behavior, in which behavior chosen by an agent has no intrinsic “intentionalness” apart from what he confers upon it as part of his plan. The second aspect is the NNL's distinctive account of basic human goods' incommensurability, according to which there is no common factor shared by basic human goods that allows them to be comparatively ranked in any way that directs practical deliberation. The entailments of these two aspects of the NNL, we argue, amount to a reductio ad absurdum. Pace the proponents of the NNL account, we sketch an alternative hylomorphic conception of intentional action that avoids untoward moral implications by grounding human agency in the exercise of basic powers that are either (a) essential constituents of human nature or (b) acquired through participation in social practices. This conception of intentional action provides a stronger foundation for natural law theory.
|Keywords||Intention Principle of Double Effect Thomas Aquinas Proportionality Incommensurability Social Practice Human Action Catholic moral theology Moral Absolutism Natural Law|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Andrew Jaspers (2007). Intentio and Praeter Intentionem in the Constitution of the Moral Object in Thomas Aquinas. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:149-159.
Christopher Tollefsen (2006). Is a Purely First Person Account of Human Action Defensible? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (4):441 - 460.
David S. Oderberg & T. D. J. Chappell (eds.) (2004). Human Values: New Essays on Ethics and Natural Law. Palgrave Macmillan.
Joshua D. Goldstein (2011). New Natural Law Theory and the Grounds of Marriage. Social Theory and Practice 37 (3):461-482.
Edmund Wall (2010). Toward a Unified Foundation of Natural Law Ethics. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):747-779.
Craig A. Boyd (2005). Participation Metaphysics in Aquinas's Theory of Natural Law. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 79 (3):431-445.
Bernard G. Prusak (2008). What Kant Reconstructed Brings to Aquinas Reconstructed; Or, Why and How the New Natural Law Needs to Be Extended. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:99-113.
John R. Searle (1979). The Intentionality of Intention and Action. Inquiry 22 (1-4):253 – 280.
Jack Green Musselman (2009). Pt. 1. Thomistic Foundations : Natural Law Theory, Synderesis and Practical Reason. Human Nature and its Limits / Christopher Tollefsen ; Synderesis, Law, and Virtue / Angela McKay ; Human Nature and Moral Goodness / Patrick Lee ; Natural Law for Teaching Ethics : An Essential Tool and Not a Seamless Web. [REVIEW] In Mark J. Cherry (ed.), The Normativity of the Natural: Human Goods, Human Virtues, and Human Flourishing. Springer
C. Fred Alford (2010). Narrative, Nature, and the Natural Law: From Aquinas to International Human Rights. Palgrave Macmillan.
Owen J. Anderson (2012). The Natural Moral Law: The Good After Modernity. Cambridge University Press.
Manuel Velasquez (2001). Catholic Natural Law and Business Ethics. Spiritual Goods 2001:107-140.
David K. Chan (2000). Intention and Responsibility in Double Effect Cases. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 3 (4):405-434.
Iii Get Checked Abstract Thomas J. Bole (1991). The Theoretical Tenability of the Doctrine of Double Effect. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16 (5).
Added to index2012-04-27
Total downloads25 ( #115,742 of 1,707,759 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #352,633 of 1,707,759 )
How can I increase my downloads?