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God and the Natural Law: A Rereading of Thomas Aquinas

God and the Natural Law: A Rereading of Thomas Aquinas

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  • ISBN-13: 9781587313516
  • Publisher: St. Augustine's Press
  • Release Date: Dec 01, 2002
  • Edition: y First printing
  • Pages: 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.10 x 0.80 x 9.00 inches


It seems that to have credibility in the post-Kantian and analytical world, contemporary natural-law theory wants to show its independence both from God and from human nature. But can there be a natural-law theory without the "natural" - not grounded on the facts of nature - and without "law" - not in need of a Legislator? In God and the Natural Law, Fulvio Di Blasi, starts with an original analysis of the current debate in ethics, jurisprudence, and politics in order to give the background for a sound understanding of the concept of natural law, which sets the stage for the heart of the book: a recovery of the authentic meaning of the two main concepts of classical natural law theory as synthesized by Thomas Aquinas - the will of God and the order of nature.

The wide revival of practical philosophy and objective-values ethics of the past decades has involved a strong rediscovery of classical natural law. This rediscovery is marked by two main traits: the emphasis on the autonomy of practical reason (as a reaction to the modern voluntarism centered on the external will of the legislator) and the emphasis on the originality of practical reason (as a reaction to the idea of a rational deduction of moral truths from the facts of nature). Without denying an autonomous character of ethics and the need for a strong criticism to moral rationalism, Di Blasi claims that Aquinas's thought remains unintelligible if we remove from it either God or the metaphysical understanding of nature.

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