Natural Law and Practical Rationality

Natural Law and Practical Rationality

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Natural law theory has been undergoing a revival, especially in political philosophy and jurisprudence. Yet, most fundamentally, natural law theory is not a political theory, but a moral theory, or more accurately a theory of practical rationality. According to the natural law account of practical rationality, the basic reasons for actions are basic goods that are grounded in the nature of human beings. Practical rationality aims to identify and characterize reasons for action and to explain how choice between actions worth performing can be appropriately governed by rational standards. These standards are justified by reference to features of the human goods that are the fundamental reasons for action. This book is a defence of a contemporary natural law theory of practical rationality, demonstrating its inherent plausibility and engaging systematically with rival egoist, consequentialist, Kantian and virtue accounts.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 300 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 20.32mm | 476.27g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0521039770
  • 9780521039772
  • 905,338

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: natural law and the theory of practical rationality; 1. The real identity thesis; 2. Well-being; 3. The reasons that make action intelligible; 4. Welfarism and its discontents; 5. The principles that make choice reasonable; 6. What ought to be done; Note; Works cited; Index.
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Review quote

"Murphy develops his ideas thoroughly, treats his critics fairly, and presents a well-argued, highly sophisticated case for his version on natural law." Theological Studies "This book should and will be a focus of debate among those people who advocate various versions of natural right in moral, political, and legal important book that should be studied by all contemporary students of the issues it treats." The Thomist "An impressive tour de force...Any philosopher doing work in contemporary ethics generally, as well as those doing work specifically in the areas of natural law and practical reason, will benefit enormously from grappling with the vigorous argumentation of this book." Review of Metaphysics
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Rating details

6 ratings
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4 67% (4)
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