Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law: An Analytic Reconstruction by Anthony J. Lisska

By Anthony J. Lisska

This new critique of Aquinas's conception of traditional legislation provides an incisive, new research of the relevant subject matters and correct texts within the Summa Theologiae which turned the classical canon for usual legislation. Professor Lisska discusses Aquinas's view of moral naturalism in the context of the modern revival and restoration of Aristotelian ethics, arguing that Aquinas is essentially Aristotelian within the foundations of his ethical thought. The booklet seems to be on the ancient improvement of common legislations issues within the 20th century, and particularly demonstrates the real connections among Aquinas and modern criminal philosophers. The e-book will be of substantial curiosity to students of jurisprudence in addition to philosophers.

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Fuller suggests that his account provides an explication of ‘the morality that makes law possible’. Fuller articulates his rules for successful law making in a contrasting fashion by showing the eight ways in which a law may fail. When a law fails, it demonstrates that the craft of law-making has not been properly pursued. Immediately, one can see that for Fuller, whatever law is, it cannot be the simple command of the superior, which is the rankest form of legal positivism. Lawmaking demands a certain consistency and structure, which Fuller calls the craft of the activity of lawmaking.

The structure of the intentional activity is categorically different in speculative and practical reasoning. Speculative reason ‘is aware of or ‘knows’, whereas practical reason ‘undertakes’ or ‘carries forward’ what is to be done. The conclusion of the speculative syllogism is a ‘piece of knowing’, while the conclusion of the practical syllogism is a ‘piece of doing’. This is an important point largely lost in discussions of practical reason since the time of Hume. 4) A more detailed account of speculative and practical reason will be discussed in Chapter 8.

Anscombe, ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’, Philosophy, 33/124 (Jan. 1958), 1–19. (2) Christopher Martin, The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas (London: Roudedge, 1988), 4. (3) Ralph Mclnerny, Aquinas on Human Action (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1992), 163–177. (4) Simon Tugwell, ‘The Life and Works of Thomas Aquinas’, in Albert and Thomas (New York: Paulist Press, 1988), 256. (5) Vernon J. Bourke, ‘The Nicomachean Ethics and Thomas Aquinas’, in St. Thomas Aquinas — 1274–1974: Commemorative Studies (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medi aeval Studies, 1974), 239–59.

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