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Aquinas’s Theory of Natural LawAn Analytic Reconstruction$
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Anthony J. Lisska

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269670

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269670.001.0001

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The Finnis Reconstruction

The Finnis Reconstruction

(p.139) 6 The Finnis Reconstruction
Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law

Anthony J. Lisska

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines philosopher John Finnis' attempted reconstruction of natural law moral theory. It suggests that Finnis has undercut the functional view of Aristotelian ethics by suggesting that the metaphysical support normally used to interpret natural law theories of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas is misguided. In his Natural Law and Natural Rights and Fundamentals of Ethics, Finnis has proposed a view of natural law ethics that denies the importance of the functional view of essence as a necessary condition for explaining natural law theory.

Keywords:   John Finnis, natural law, moral theory, Aristotelian ethics, Thomas Aquinas, Natural Law and Natural Rights, Fundamentals of Ethics

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