Read the whole review here. Click the title of the book, above, for its listing on Amazon.
Natural law starts by assuming there is such a thing as human nature. This
insistence on a human nature is a limiting concept. It claims that true freedom
is only to be found in acceptance and respect of this human nature that we have
inherited, not created.
A recent book on the topic of natural law, which is a compilation of
papers from an international conference held in Spain in 2006, makes this point
clear. If you accept natural law, you accept that human nature exists and that
it is the same for all humans. This in turn implies that some actions that human
beings can perform are not good for them. It further implies that freedom is not
the goal of human existence but rather a faculty of choice which allows us to do
good actions and thus to flourish as human beings.
Contemporary Perspectives on Natural Law: Natural Law as a Limiting
Concept is a useful addition to contemporary debate, given that, despite its
pariah status in some universities, natural law ethics is still one of the great
traditions of ethical thinking and is given some time in most ethics courses,
even if this amounts to a dismissive nod.
Friday, September 19, 2008
New Natural Law Anthology Reviewed
MercatorNet today features a review of Contemporary Perspectives on Natural Law: Natural Law as a Limiting Concept, an anthology edited by Ana Marta Gonzalez. An extended quote from the review follows.