Introduction: the grey goose -- The origins of civil society and the function of law -- Justice, ownership, and law -- Natural justice and conventional justice -- Justice and the trading order -- Adjudication and interpretation -- Morality, law, and legislation -- Natural law -- Rights -- The force of law -- The authority and legitimacy of law -- Conclusion.
The author reviews recent books by Alasdair MacIntyre and Garrett Barden that critique the impulse to foundational theory and transhistorical argumentation in moral theory; these arguments are then set in relation to books by Franklin Gamwell and Karl-Otto Apel that seek, in new ways, to defend that impulse. Although far more sympathetic to the latter perspective, the author maintains that all four of these second-order theoretical discussions lack an appropriate understanding of and engagement with the post-Enlightenment tradition of moral theorizing.
This paper deals with the contention, coming from two main sources in scientific theory (theory of evolution and string theory), that the conclusions of these theories demonstrate the nonexistence of God. In response to this, the author seeks to show that neither of these arguments is sound; he is not particularly concerned here with proving the existence of God. In the course of the paper, a certain amount of confusion concerning the requirements which these two scientific theories would make of (...) believers is cleared up. The cosmological positions of Aquinas, Hume, Leibniz, Heidegger, Wittgenstein and Lonergan are mentioned, culminating in the ultimate question: ’why should there be any thing at all?’ Like all questions, it arises upon presuppositions. The author does not attempt to answer it here; but tries rather to elucidate its presuppositions. He points out that from natural science there neither is, nor can there be, evidence either to support or to undermine such presupposition. (shrink)