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Reason, Revelation, Universality And Particularity In Ethics, John M. Finnis Jan 2008

Reason, Revelation, Universality And Particularity In Ethics, John M. Finnis

Journal Articles

This address to a philosophical conference on truth and faith in ethics engages in an extended critique of the account of truth in Bernard Williams, Truth and Truthfulness: an essay in genealogy (Princeton University Press, 2002). For any jurisprudential, moral or political theory that affirms natural law needs to respond first to sceptical denials that reason can discover any truths about what ends all human individuals or groups ought to pursue. But any such theory also needs to make clear how it differs from, even when it coincides in moral judgment with, bodies of moral teaching self-identified as part of ...


Lawyers And Biblical Prophets, Thomas L. Shaffer Jan 2003

Lawyers And Biblical Prophets, Thomas L. Shaffer

Journal Articles

This is part of a broader exploration of the suggestion that the biblical prophets-Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Nathan, and the others-are sources of ethical reflection and moral example for modern American lawyers. The suggestion appears to be unusual; I am not sure why.

The Prophets were, more than anything else, lawyers-as their successors, the Rabbis of the Talmud, were. They were neither teachers nor bureaucrats, not elected officials or priests or preachers. And the comparison is not an ancient curiosity:

Much of what admirable lawyer-heroes have done in modern America has been prophetic in the biblical sense-that is, what they ...


Legal Enforcement Of "Duties To Oneself": Kant Vs. Neo-Kantians, John M. Finnis Jan 1987

Legal Enforcement Of "Duties To Oneself": Kant Vs. Neo-Kantians, John M. Finnis

Journal Articles

This Article considers writings by modern scholars including Rawls, Dworkin, and D.A.J. Richards on the topic of Kant's discussion of the neutrality principle and the harm principle.


The "Natural Law Tradition", John M. Finnis Jan 1986

The "Natural Law Tradition", John M. Finnis

Journal Articles

This "tradition of natural law theory" has three main features: First, critique and rejection of ethical scepticism, dogmatism and conventionalism; Second, clarification of the methodology of descriptive and explanatory social theories (e.g., political science, economics, jurisprudence .... ); Third, critique and rejection of aggregative conceptions of the right and the just (e.g., consequentialism, utilitarianism, wealth-maximization, "proportionalism"...).


Balzacian Legality, Thomas E. Carbonneau Jan 1979

Balzacian Legality, Thomas E. Carbonneau

Journal Articles

The study of law and literature is an area of growing interest to legal scholars in the United States. Honore de Balzac incorporated in his works a panoramic view of the social reality of nineteenth century France. In this context, the fidelity of Balzac's plots and characters to their external models has been well-documented in a number of fields, including sociology, commerce, and finance. In addition to this penchant for realism, however, Balzac laced his novels with an equally evident moral content. This commitment to accuracy and morality also influenced Balzac's novelistic treatment of the law and lawyers ...