Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald (...) Dworkin, Jeremy Waldron, David A.J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a "pluralistic perfectionist" theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality. (shrink)
This book defends the conjugal view of marriage. Patrick Lee and Robert P. George argue that marriage is a distinctive type of community: the union of a man and a woman who have committed to sharing their lives on every level of their beings (bodily, emotionally, and spiritually) in the kind of union that would be fulfilled by conceiving and rearing children together. The comprehensive nature of this union, and its intrinsic orientation to procreation as its natural fulfillment, (...) distinguishes marriage from other types of community and provides the basis for the norms of marital exclusivity and permanence. Lee and George detail how the basic moral norms regarding sexual acts follow from the ethical requirement to respect the good of marriage and explain how the law should treat marriage, given its conjugal nature, examining both the same-sex-marriage issue and civil divorce. (shrink)
Natural law theory is enjoying a revival of interest in a variety of scholarly disciplines including law, philosophy, political science, and theology and religious studies. This volume presents twelve original essays by leading natural law theorists and their critics. The contributors discuss natural law theories of morality, law and legal reasoning, politics, and the rule of law. Readers get a clear sense of the wide diversity of viewpoints represented among contemporary theorists, and an opportunity to evaluate the arguments and counterarguments (...) exchanged in the current debates between natural law theorists and their critics. Contributors include Hadley Arkes, Joseph M. Boyle, Jr., John Finnis, Robert P. George, Russell Hittinger, Neil MacCormick, Michael Moore, Jeffrey Stout, Joseph Raz, Jeremy Waldron, Lloyd Weinreb, and Ernest Weinrib. (shrink)
I have argued that substance ontology cannot be used to determine the moral status of embryos. Patrick Lee, Christopher Tollefsen, and RobertGeorge wrote a Reply to those arguments in this Journal. In that Reply, Lee, Tollefsen, and George defended and clarified their position that their substance ontology arguments prove that the zygote and the adult into which it develops are the same entity that share the same essence. Here, I show the following: Even using the substance (...) ontology framework to which Lee, Tollefsen, and George subscribe, we cannot know when in development substance changes cease. Substance ontology cannot therefore be used to assign moral status to embryos. The Lee, Tollefsen, and George substance ontology framework should not be applied to the study of development or to biological discourse in general, because this framework depends on premises that do not apply. (shrink)
In this paper, I will discuss and characterize transcendental and salvational aspects of two naturalistic philosophical projects, those of Robert Corrington, a contemporary American Naturalist and George Santayana, the first identifiable American Naturalist. I am considering here soteriological pathways available for transformation or transfiguration of the self toward a state of spiritual optimization in an imminent natural cosmos where all but limited gains seem to be out of human hands. The individual, imbedded in Nature, is caught up in (...) an unteleological stream of Nature's own formation. In my consideration of this subject in relation to Robert Corrington's work, I have found a helpful and insightful .. (shrink)
In his The Everlasting Check: Hume on Miracles, Alexander George claims to provide readers with a single unified interpretation of Hume’s ‘Of Miracles’ that demonstrates Hume’s actual argument is philosophically rich and far more robust than is generally thought. This response argues that George is unsuccessful, ignoring crucial passages and misinterpreting others.
The study that George Lakoff and Rafael Núñez call "idea analysis" and begin in their recent book Where mathematics comes from is intended to dissect mathematical concepts into their metaphorical parts, where metaphor is used in the cognitive-science sense promoted by Lakoff and Mark Johnson in Metaphors we live by and subsequent works by each of them and together. Lakoff and Núñez's analysis of the (modern) algebraic concept of group is based on the attribution to contemporary mathematics of what (...) will be widely recognizable by their name for it, the folk theory of essences. I argue that this philosophical basis for their analysis is spurious and supply an alternative analysis of the same concept within their "metaphorical" paradigm but without essences. This analysis, which I hope is more viable than theirs, is intended to support the general applicability of the paradigm by freeing it from outmoded philosophical baggage. (shrink)