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

Hardcover | October 23, 2012

EditorJonathan A. Jacobs

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This edited volume examines the ways in which theological considerations have figured in natural law theorizing, from Plato to Spinoza. Theological considerations have long had a pronounced role in Catholic natural law theories, but have not been seriously 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 andprinciples. 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 thescope 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 ofnatural 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 theexplanatory significance they deserve.

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This edited volume examines the ways in which theological considerations have figured in natural law theorizing, from Plato to Spinoza. Theological considerations have long had a pronounced role in Catholic natural law theories, but have not been seriously examined from a wider perspective. The contributors to this volume take a more i...

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

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 23, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199767173

ISBN - 13:9780199767175

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Table of Contents

Notes on ContributorsAcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart I: Ancient Origins1. Fred Miller: "The Rule of Reason in Plato's Laws"2. Jacob Klein: "Stoic Eudaimonism and the Natural Law Tradition"Part II: Medieval Jewish Philosophy3. Tamar Rudavsky: "Natural Law in Judaism: A Reconsideration"4. Jonathan Jacobs: "The Reasons of the Commandments: Rational Tradition without Natural Law"Part III: Medieval Christian Philosophy5. Eileen Sweeney: "Thomas Aquinas and the Difficulties of Reading the Natural Law Written on Our Hearts"6. Anthony Lisska: "Right Reason in Natural Law Moral Theory: Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham"7. richard Cross: "Natural Law, Moral Constructivism, and Duns Scotus's Metaethics: The Centrality of Aesthetic Explanation"Part IV: Spinoza and the Transition to Modern Thought8. Jon Miller: "Spinoza and Natural Law"9. Douglas B. Rasmussen, Douglas J. Den Uyl: "Agent Centeredness and Natural Law: Perfectionism, Immanence, and Transcendence"BibliographyIndex