A new edition of the author's first work of nonfiction traces his journeys throughout natural regions of the world to pose such lively questions as the redeeming merits of mosquitoes and the potential for cloning, in a volume complemented by the author's popular "Natural Acts" columns. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
A new edition of the author's first work of nonfiction traces his journeys throughout natural regions of the world to pose such lively questions as the redeeming merits of mosquitoes and the potential for cloning, in a volume complemented by the author's popular "Natural Acts" columns. 20,000 first printing.
First published in 1980, Natural Law and Natural Rights is widely heralded as a seminal contribution to the philosophy of law, and an authoritative restatement of natural law doctrine. It has offered generations of students and other readers a thorough grounding in the central issues of legal, moral, and political philosophy from Finnis's distinctive perspective. This new edition includes a substantial postscript by the author, in which he responds to thirty years of discussion, criticism and further work in the field to develop and refine the original theory. The book closely integrates the philosophy of law with ethics, social theory and political philosophy. The author develops a sustained and substantive argument; it is not a review of other people's arguments but makes frequent illustrative and critical reference to classical, modern, and contemporary writers in ethics, social and political theory, and jurisprudence. The preliminary First Part reviews a century of analytical jurisprudence to illustrate the dependence of every descriptive social science upon evaluations by the theorist. A fully critical basis for such evaluations is a theory of natural law. Standard contemporary objections to natural law theory are reviewed and shown to rest on serious misunderstandings. The Second Part develops in ten carefully structured chapters an account of: basic human goods and basic requirements of practical reasonableness, community and 'the common good'; justice; the logical structure of rights-talk; the bases of human rights, their specification and their limits; authority, and the formation of authoritative rules by non-authoritative persons and procedures; law, the Rule of Law, and the derivation of laws from the principles of practical reasonableness; the complex relation between legal and moral obligation; and the practical and theoretical problems created by unjust laws. A final Part develops a vigorous argument about the relation between 'natural law', 'natural theology' and 'revelation' - between moral concern and other ultimate questions.
Release on 2009-03-26 | by Alejandro Néstor García Martínez,Mario Šilar,José M. Torralba
Historical, Systematic and Juridical Approaches
Author: Alejandro Néstor García Martínez,Mario Šilar,José M. Torralba
Pubpsher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Modern moral and political philosophy is in debt with natural law theory, both in its ancient and mediaeval elaborations. While the very notion of a natural law has proved highly controversial among 20th Century scholars, the last decades have witnessed a renewed interest in it. Indeed, the threats and challenges as result of multiculturalism, plural societies and global changes have generated a renewed attention to natural law theory. Clearly, it offers solid basis as possible framework to a better understanding of human goods without contradictions and partial bias. The purpose of the present volume is to provide an overview of the history of this concept (Cicero, St. Paul, Aquinas, Melanchthon, Montaigne, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Burke, Kant, MacIntyre, etc.) as well as a deep understanding of ongoing research, both in Europe and in America. Furthermore, the specificity of these studies will be of particular value to philosophers, law-philosophers, historians, anthropologists, sociologists and theologians, and those concerned on such issues as the relation between law and moral norm, law and practical reason, and the presence of the idea of natural law in several prominent thinkers. It includes a selected bibliography on natural law. The book also provides an excellent introduction to several of the major topics in natural law theory making it useful both as a reference text and as a sourcebook for academics alike. "Natural law is a rich, complex, and highly disputed term. Since its first appearances in the history of Western civilization, it has been used both to point to God as the source of the moral order and to assert that there is an objective order of justice in nature that men and their laws ought to respect. In modern times, natural law theory gave birth to what we usually call “human rights.” Unlike the meaning of the term, the importance of an ongoing debate on natural law and on the theories related to it is undisputable. This is why I welcome today this new collection of essays edited by Alejandro Néstor García Martínez, Mario Šilar and José M. Torralba. Natural Law: Historical, Systematic and Juridical Approaches includes a wide variety of studies, covering key authors and issues in natural law theory. Younger students will appreciate the clarity of the chapters, and more trained readers the detailed and accurate bibliographical references that each of them offers. The editors’s choice to go from a historical approach to contemporary theories, and then to theoretical and more practical issues is also commendable. Students in philosophy and in legal theory will greatly benefit from this book." —Fulvio Di Blasi, author of God and the Natural Law: A Rereading of Thomas Aquinas
This book presents an answer to the question of why modern legal institutions and the idea of citizenship are important for leading a free life. The majority of views in political and legal philosophy regard the law merely as a useful instrument, employed to render our lives more secure and to enable us to engage in cooperate activities more efficiently. The view developed here defends a non-instrumentalist alternative of why the law matters. It identifies the law as a constitutive feature of our identities as citizens of modern states. The constitutivist argument rests on the (Kantian) assumption that a person’s practical identity (its normative self-conception as an agent) is the result of its actions. The law co-constitutes these identities because it maintains the external conditions that are necessary for the actions performed under its authority. Modern legal institutions provide these external prerequisites for achieving a high degree of individual self-constitution and freedom. Only public principles can establish our status as individuals who pursue their life plans and actions as a matter of right and not because others contingently happen to let us do so. The book thereby provides resources for a reply to anarchist challenges to the necessity of legal ordering.
The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America
Author: Ted Steinberg
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
As the waters of the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain began to pour into New Orleans, people began asking the big question--could any of this have been avoided? How much of the damage from Hurricane Katrina was bad luck, and how much was poor city planning? Steinberg's Acts of God is a provocative history of natural disasters in the United States. This revised edition features a new chapter analyzing the failed response to Hurricane Katrina, a disaster Steinberg warned could happen when the book first was published. Focusing on America's worst natural disasters, Steinberg argues that it is wrong to see these tragedies as random outbursts of nature's violence or expressions of divine judgment. He reveals how the decisions of business leaders and government officials have paved the way for the greater losses of life and property, especially among those least able to withstand such blows--America's poor, elderly, and minorities. Seeing nature or God as the primary culprit, Steinberg explains, has helped to hide the fact that some Americans are simply better able to protect themselves from the violence of nature than others. In the face of revelations about how the federal government mishandled the Katrina calamity, this book is a must-read before further wind and water sweep away more lives. Acts of God is a call to action that needs desperately to be heard.
The Act is primarily intended to implement key aspects of the Government's Rural Strategy and addresses issues relating to the natural environment. The Act establishes an independent body - Natural England - responsible for conserving, enhancing and managing England's natural environment for the benefit of current and future generations. Natural England brings together the functions of English Nature and certain functions currently performed by the Countryside Agency and the Rural Development Service (a Defra Directorate). The Act also establishes the Commission for Rural Communities ("the Commission"). The Commission will be an independent advocate, watchdog and expert adviser for rural England, with a particular focus on people suffering from social disadvantage and areas suffering from economic under-performance. The Act also reconstitutes the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and renames and reconstitutes the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council (which becomes the Inland Waterways Advisory Council). The Act makes provision in respect of biodiversity, pesticides harmful to wildlife and the protection of birds, and in respect of invasive non-native species. It alters enforcement powers in connection with wildlife protection, and extends time limits for prosecuting certain wildlife offences. It addresses a small number of gaps and uncertainties in relation to the law on sites of special scientific interest. And it amends the functions and constitution of National Park authorities, the functions of the Broads Authority and the law on rights of way.