Natural Law and Practical Rationality

Review of Metaphysics 57 (1):165-167 (2003)


What would a theory of practical reason that defended positions taken to be definitive or consonant with the natural law tradition, and that also aimed to be a serious contender within contemporary analytic ethics, look like? The theory put forward in Mark Murphy’s compelling and ambitious book seeks to provide the answer. The character of the theory Murphy defends is summarized by him as naturalist, objectivist, welfarist, antiparticularist, and anticonsequentialist. How this summary cashes out in detail will be recognizable in many ways by those familiar with the work of John Finnis, though Murphy does depart from Finnis in significant respects.

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