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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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Natural Law Revisited

Natural Law Revisited

(p.188) 8 Natural Law Revisited
Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law

Anthony J. Lisska

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how Thomas Aquinas' natural law ethical theory might fit into the programme of contemporary moral and legal discussions. The analyses in this chapter indicate how Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas might resolve the is/ought problem and transcend the naturalistic fallacy. This chapter identifies several principles that Aquinas needs to assume in order for his theory of natural law to be a consistent theory of ethical naturalism. These principles include a theory of natural kinds, a metaphysics of finality, and a consistent theory of practical reason.

Keywords:   natural law, ethical theory, Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, naturalistic fallacy, ethical naturalism, reason, finality

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