By Anthony J. Lisska
This new critique of Aquinas's thought of common legislations offers an incisive, new research of the primary issues and suitable texts within the Summa Theologiae which turned the classical canon for common legislations. 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 idea. The ebook appears to be like on the old improvement of average legislation subject matters within the 20th century, and particularly demonstrates the real connections among Aquinas and modern criminal philosophers. The e-book could be of substantial curiosity to students of jurisprudence in addition to philosophers.
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Extra resources for Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law: An Analytic Reconstruction
Moreover, Aristotle developed different modes of argument for speculative and practical reason —conveniently calling the process of the former the ‘speculative syllogism’ and the latter the ‘practical syllogism’. At the level of both principles and modes of arguing, Aristotle distinguishes speculative reason from practical reason. In the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas followed the insights on practical reason put forward by Aristotle in his discussions of ethical naturalism. In his commentary on the De Trinitate by Boethius, Aquinas writes about speculative and practical reason in the following way: A theoretical or speculative inquiry is distinguished from a practical inquiry in that the former is directed towards discovering truth claims considered in themselves.
Hart goes on to discuss the theoretical and practical importance of his account of natural necessities: The simple truisms we have discussed not only disclose the core of good sense in the doctrine of Natural Law. They are of vital importance for the understanding of law and morals, and they explain why the definition of the basic forms of these in purely formal terms, without reference to any specific content of social needs, has proved so inadequate…We can say, given the setting of natural facts and aims, which make sanctions both possible and necessary in a municipal system, that this is a natural necessity; and some such phrase is needed also to convey the status of the minimum forms of protection for persons, property, and promises which are similarly indispensable features of municipal law.
It was Professor Veatch’s marvellous analysis of contemporary meta-ethics, For an Ontology of Morals, which first stimulated my own rethinking of Aquinas on natural law and suggested creative ways to reconsider Aquinas’s meta-ethics. Ed and Abby Holtz (Ed, a good friend and Trustee-Emeritus of Denison University) kindly introduced me to Henry and Janie Veatch, friends of theirs, when both lived in Georgetown during the time Professor Veatch served as Chair of the Philosophy Department at Georgetown University.