Natural Law Liberalism

Author: Christopher Wolfe


ISBN: 0511242360

Category: Law

Page: 281

View: 398

Natural Law Liberalism argues that liberal political philosophy and natural law theory are not contradictory but mutually reinforcing. Contemporary liberalism tends to put traditional morality and religion off-limits in political discourse and to unreasonably exalt individual autonomy, but nothing in the liberal tradition demands this.
Natural Law and Public Reason

Author: Robert P. George

Publisher: Georgetown University Press

ISBN: 0878407669

Category: Law

Page: 210

View: 119

"Public reason" is one of the central concepts in modern liberal political theory. As articulated by John Rawls, it presents a way to overcome the difficulties created by intractable differences among citizens' religious and moral beliefs by strictly confining the place of such convictions in the public sphere. Identifying this conception as a key point of conflict, this book presents a debate among contemporary natural law and liberal political theorists on the definition and validity of the idea of public reason. Its distinguished contributors examine the consequences of interpreting public reason more broadly as "right reason," according to natural law theory, versus understanding it in the narrower sense in which Rawls intended. They test public reason by examining its implications for current issues, confronting the questions of abortion and slavery and matters relating to citizenship. This energetic exchange advances our understanding of both Rawls's contribution to political philosophy and the lasting relevance of natural law. It provides new insights into crucial issues facing society today as it points to new ways of thinking about political theory and practice.
Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality

Author: Robert P. George

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 019924300X

Category: Law

Page: 311

View: 193

A number of leading defenders of natural law and liberalism offer frank and lively exchanges touching upon critical issues surrounding contemporary moral and political theory.
Natural Law Liberalism

Author: Christopher Wolfe

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139457989

Category: Political Science


View: 651

Liberal political philosophy and natural law theory are not contradictory, but - properly understood - mutually reinforcing. Contemporary liberalism (as represented by Rawls, Guttman and Thompson, Dworkin, Raz, and Macedo) rejects natural law and seeks to diminish its historical contribution to the liberal political tradition, but it is only one, defective variant of liberalism. A careful analysis of the history of liberalism, identifying its core principles, and a similar examination of classical natural law theory (as represented by Thomas Aquinas and his intellectual descendants), show that a natural law liberalism is possible and desirable. Natural law theory embraces the key principles of liberalism, and it also provides balance in resisting some of its problematic tendencies. Natural law liberalism is the soundest basis for American public philosophy, and it is a potentially more attractive and persuasive form of liberalism for nations that have tended to resist it.
Natural Law Republicanism

Author: Michael C. Hawley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780197582336

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 564

"By any metric, Cicero's works are some of the most widely read in the history of Western thought. In this book, Michael Hawley suggests that perhaps Cicero's most lasting and significant contribution to philosophy lies in helping to inspire the development of liberalism. Individual rights, the protection of private property, and political legitimacy based on the consent of the governed are often taken to be among early modern liberalism's unique innovations and part of its rebellion against classical thought. However, this book demonstrates that Cicero's thought played a central role in shaping and inspiring the liberal republican project. Cicero argued that liberty for individuals could arise only in a res publica in which the claims of the people to be sovereign were somehow united with a commitment to universal moral law, which limits what the people can rightfully do. Figures such as Hugo Grotius, John Locke, and John Adams sought to work through the tensions in Cicero's vision, laying the groundwork for a theory of politics in which the freedom of the individual and the people's collective right to rule were mediated by natural law. This book traces the development of this intellectual tradition from Cicero's original articulation through the American Founding. It concludes by exploring how our modern political ideas remain dependent on the conception of just politics first elaborated by Rome's great philosopher-statesman"--
Flourishing Lives

Author: Gary Chartier

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108623599

Category: Law


View: 445

This book elaborates, illuminates, and illustrates a confident and attractive account of social and political liberalism in light of a rich understanding of flourishing and fulfilment rooted in a version of natural law theory. Examining issues in ethics, law, and politics - including consumer responsibility, the assignment of grades by teachers, deception by lawyers, war and empire, and the use of victim-impact statements in parole decisions - Gary Chartier shows how natural law theory can effectively support pluralism, diversity, social equality, integrity, peace, and freedom.
Sociability and Self Interest

Author: Kristy M. King


ISBN: OCLC:559750117

Category: Natural law

Page: 216

View: 282

Seventeenth and eighteenth century liberalism emerged in the context of the evolution of natural law jurisprudence into a theory of natural rights. This dissertation traces the development of natural law theory into a theory of natural rights and liberalism through the work of Hugo Grotius, Samuel Pufendorf, John Locke and Adam Smith. I explore the ways that the concepts of sociability and self-interest emerge from the natural law tradition and shape liberal notions of the individual and his obligations to the community. The results of this analysis are, I hope, the recovery of a moral basis for liberal political thought and a more nuanced reading of the individual and individual obligation in that discourse. The development of natural law and liberal political thought shows an increasing political and moral legitimacy accorded to self-love and self-interest. But if self-love has the capacity to be socially productive, so too does it always threaten to tend towards egoism and solipsism. My reading of the natural law and liberal traditions indicates that thinkers who seek to validate self-interest also acknowledge that this self-love must be contained and restrained by sociability. If individuals are self-interested and self-loving, they also sociable and potentially other-regarding. The tradition which is the subject of this dissertation reveals the ways in which self-love is conceived as legitimate and socially productive because of the power of sociability to moderate and contain the potential excesses of self-love both ontologically and institutionally. In this dissertation I seek to show that a close reading of the relationships between self-love and sociability point us to a more enriched understanding of the liberal individual and his formal relationships with his fellow men. Liberal self-interest, liberal rights and the liberal individual are always and already dependent on a sociable attitude towards others. The intellectual acknowledgment of this dependence and the subsequent creation of sociable institutions is essential to liberal political thought. This nuance will, I hope, enable us to conceive of the historical evolution of liberal political thought in more complicated terms than is usually done.
Liberalism at the Crossroads

Author: American Public Philosophy Institute

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0742532712

Category: Political Science

Page: 230

View: 324

Liberalism at the Crossroads offers succinct, accessible, and well-written surveys of the ideas of the leading participants in the contemporary philosophical debate about liberalism. Christopher Wolfe brings together analyses of leading liberal thinkers from across the spectrum as well as influential critics of liberalism, including John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, Robert Nozick, Michael Sandel, Richard Rorty, Joseph Raz, and William Galston. For the second edition, each chapter has been thoroughly revised, and new chapters on Susan Moller Okin, Richard Posner, and John Finnis have been added to include representatives of liberal feminism, law and economics, and natural law. The result is an invaluable overview of contemporary political theory, ideal for both students and scholars.
Natural Law Today

Author: Christopher Wolfe

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781498576437

Category: Philosophy

Page: 186

View: 732

Natural Law Today gives a strong voice to classical natural law theory as the best answers to the fundamental questions of ethics and as the best framework for political and social life. It explains various aspects of that theory and defends it against common misperceptions and criticisms.
Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law

Author: Kody W. Cooper

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess

ISBN: 9780268103040

Category: Philosophy

Page: 342

View: 987

Has Hobbesian moral and political theory been fundamentally misinterpreted by most of his readers? Since the criticism of John Bramhall, Hobbes has generally been regarded as advancing a moral and political theory that is antithetical to classical natural law theory. Kody Cooper challenges this traditional interpretation of Hobbes in Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law. Hobbes affirms two essential theses of classical natural law theory: the capacity of practical reason to grasp intelligible goods or reasons for action and the legally binding character of the practical requirements essential to the pursuit of human flourishing. Hobbes’s novel contribution lies principally in his formulation of a thin theory of the good. This book seeks to prove that Hobbes has more in common with the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition of natural law philosophy than has been recognized. According to Cooper, Hobbes affirms a realistic philosophy as well as biblical revelation as the ground of his philosophical-theological anthropology and his moral and civil science. In addition, Cooper contends that Hobbes's thought, although transformative in important ways, also has important structural continuities with the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition of practical reason, theology, social ontology, and law. What emerges from this study is a nuanced assessment of Hobbes’s place in the natural law tradition as a formulator of natural law liberalism. This book will appeal to political theorists and philosophers and be of particular interest to Hobbes scholars and natural law theorists.
On the Stephen Macedo and John Finnis Exchange



ISBN: OCLC:123965462

Category: Homosexuality


View: 843

This essay is an exploration of the debate between John Finnis and Stephen Macedo on the value of homosexuality. In "Is Natural Law Theory Compatible with Limited Government?" Finnis, a natural law theorist, rejects value-neutralist arguments, stating that the political community can and should make value judgments about its members' life-choices and that such normative evaluations are compatible with liberalism. Particularly, Finnis argues that homosexuality is in its essence always harmful and degrading, thus unable to participate in the basic human goods it imitates. Furthermore, he argues that the political community in liberal democratic societies is justified in discouraging homosexual conduct as a viable way of life. Macedo, while also rejecting pure value-neutralist liberalism, carefully considers but rejects Finnis's argument, which rests on an unrealistic description of value and ends of human sexual activity.