Reason, Morality, and Law: The Philosophy of John Finnis

With John Keown, eds. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Description from Publisher:

John Finnis is a pioneer in the development of a new yet classically-grounded theory of natural law. His work offers a systematic philosophy of practical reasoning and moral choosing that addresses the great questions of the rational foundations of ethical judgments, the identification of moral norms, human agency, and the freedom of the will, personal identity, the common good, the role and functions of law, the meaning of justice, and the relationship of morality and politics to religion and the life of faith. The core of Finnis’ theory, articulated in his seminal work Natural Law and Natural Rights, has profoundly influenced later work in the philosophy of law and moral and political philosophy, while his contributions to the ethical debates surrounding nuclear deterrence, abortion, euthanasia, sexual morality, and religious freedom have powerfully demonstrated the practical implications of his natural law theory.

This volume, which gathers eminent moral, legal, and political philosophers, and theologians to engage with John Finnis’ work, offers the first sustained, critical study of Finnis’ contribution across the range of disciplines in which rational and morally upright choosing is a central concern. It includes a substantial response from Finnis himself, in which he comments on each of their 27 essays and defends and develops his ideas and arguments.

Table of Contents:

Editors’ Preface
Introduction: The Achievement of John Finnis by Robert P. George

Reasons, Goods, and Principles
1: Value: A Menu of Questions by Joseph Raz
2:  Finnis on Well-being by Roger Crisp
3:  Reasoning about the Human Good, and the Role of the Public Philosopher by John Haldane
4: On the Most Fundamental Principle of Morality by Joseph Boyle
5: What is Natural Law Like? by Jeremy Waldron

Intentions in Action
6:  Intention and Side-effects: John Finnis and Elizabeth Anscombe by Luke Gormally
7: Intention and Side-effects: The mens rea for Murder by Anthony Kenny
8:  John Finnis on Thomas Aquinas on Human Action by Kevin L. Flannery SJ
9: On Moral Philosophy and Kinds of Human Actions by Cristóbel Orrego

Justice, Rights, and Wrongdoing
10: Finnis on Justice by John Gardner
11: Retributivism in the Spirit of Finnis by Matthew H. Kramer
12: The Nature of Limited Government by Leslie Green
13: Pure Perfectionism and the Limits of Paternalism by Christopher Tollefsen
14: “Lawful Mercy” in Measure for Measure by Jacqueline Tasioulas and John Tasioulas
15: The Basis for Being a Subject of Rights: The Natural Law Position by Patrick Lee
16: Constitutional and Other Persons by Gerard V. Bradley
17: Bioethics after Finnis by Anthony Fisher OP
18: A New Father for the Law and Ethics of Medicine by John Keown

Philosophy of Law
19: Value, Practice and Idea by N. E. Simmonds
20: The Irony of Law by Timothy Endicott
21:  Ideas of Easy Virtue by Timothy Macklem
22: Law and its Theory: A Question of Priorities by Julie Dickson
23: Finnis on Legal and Moral Obligation by Maris Köpcke Tinturé
24: Constitutional Principle in the Laws of the Commonwealth by Richard Ekins
25: Intention and the Allocation of Risk by Neil M. Gorsuch

Philosophy, Religion, and Public Reasons
26: The Right to Religious Liberty and the Coercion of Belief: A Note on Dignitatis Humanae by Thomas Pink
27:  Natural Law and the Transcendent Source of Human Fulfillment by Germain Grisez

Reflections and Responses
28: Responses by John Finnis

Bibliography of the Published Works of John Finnis

Oxford University Press
Google Books