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Reason, Morality, and LawThe Philosophy of John Finnis$
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John Keown and Robert P. George

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675500

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675500.001.0001

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On the Most Fundamental Principle of Morality

On the Most Fundamental Principle of Morality

(p.56) 4 On the Most Fundamental Principle of Morality
Reason, Morality, and Law

Joseph Boyle

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores John Finnis' several formulations of the most fundamental principle of morality. The best known is that one should always choose and otherwise will consistently choose morality with integral human (revised to ‘communal’) fulfillment. Another formulation requires choice responsive to unfettered practical reason. Underlying the latter is responsiveness to the integral directiveness of practical reason. This last one locates the most basic connection between free choice and practical reason.

Keywords:   basic moral principles, integral human fulfilment, unfettered practical reason

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