Reason, Religion, and Natural Law: From Plato to Spinoza

Reason, Religion, and Natural Law: From Plato to Spinoza

by Jonathan A. Jacobs (Editor)

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Overview

This edited volume examines the realizations between theological considerations and natural law theorizing, from Plato to Spinoza.

Theological considerations have long had a pronounced role in Catholic natural law theories, but have not been as thoroughly examined from a wider perspective. The contributors to this volume take a more inclusive view of the relation between conceptions of natural law and theistic claims and principles. They do not jointly defend one particular thematic claim, but articulate diverse ways in which natural law has both been understood and related to theistic claims.

In addition to exploring Plato and the Stoics, the volume also looks at medieval Jewish thought, the thought of Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham, and the ways in which Spinoza's thought includes resonances of earlier views and intimations of later developments. Taken as a whole, these essays enlarge the scope of the discussion of natural law through study of how the naturalness of natural law has often been related to theses about the divine. The latter are often crucial elements of natural law theorizing, having an integral role in accounting for the metaethical status and ethical bindingness of natural law. At the same time, the question of the relation between natural law and God-and the relation between natural law and divine command-has been addressed in a multiplicity of ways by key figures throughout the history of natural law theorizing, and these essays accord them the explanatory significance they deserve.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199767175
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 10/19/2012
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jonathan A. Jacobs is Director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Acknowledgments
Introduction

PART I Ancient Origins
1. "The Rule of Reason in Plato's Laws"
Fred Miller
2. "Stoic Eudaimonism and the Natural Law Tradition"
Jacob Klein

PART II Medieval Jewish Philosophy
3. "Natural Law in Judaism: A Reconsideration"
Tamar Rudavsky
4. "The Reasons of the Commandments: Rational Tradition without Natural Law"
Jonathan Jacobs

PART III Medieval Christian Philosophy
5. "Thomas Aquinas and the Difficulties of Reading the Natural Law Written on Our Hearts"
Eileen Sweeney
6. "Right Reason in Natural Law Moral Theory: Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham"
Anthony Lisska
7. "Natural Law, Moral Constructivism, and Duns Scotus's Metaethics: The Centrality of Aesthetic Explanation"
Richard Cross

PART IV Spinoza and the Transition to Modern Thought
8. "Spinoza and Natural Law"
Jon Miller
9. "Agent Centeredness and Natural Law: Perfectionism, Immanence, and Transcendence"
Douglas B. Rasmussen, Douglas J. Den Uyl

Bibliography
Index

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