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Journal Articles

Natural law

1998

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Natural Law And The Ethics Of Discourse, John M. Finnis Jan 1998

Natural Law And The Ethics Of Discourse, John M. Finnis

Journal Articles

This essay argues that Plato's critical analysis of the ethics of discourse is superior to Habermas', and more generally that Habermas has no sufficient reason to propose or suppose the philosophical superiority of "modernity." The failure of Hume and Kant and much modern philosophy to understand the concept and content of reasons for action underlies Habermas' attempted distinction between ethics and morality, and Rawls' concept of public reason. A proper study of discourse also yields a metaphysics of the person, and thus reinforces the ethics.