Toward a Unified Foundation of Natural Law Ethics

I locate possible fertile common ground among the “new natural law theory” of Finnis, Grisez, and Boyle, the “traditional” Thomism of McInerny, and natural law derivationism. I respond to Murphy’s contention that the “inclinationism” of Finnis cannot be successfully asserted along with what Murphy takes to be a basic requirement of natural law ethics, namely that basic practical principles are to be “strongly grounded” in human nature. I argue that the tension between the inclinationism of Finnis and Murphy’s basic requirement is not irresolvable. In response to objections by Murphy to natural law derivationism, I argue, basedin part on Searle’s attempt to derive an “ought” from an “is,” that the new natural law theorists and McInerny can and should investigate natural law derivationismfor possible adoption
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq201084453
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