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Nature as Reason

Nature as Reason

Author: Jean Porter

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 0802849067

Category: Law

Page: 440

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This noteworthy book develops a new theory of the natural law that takes its orientation from the account of the natural law developed by Thomas Aquinas, as interpreted and supplemented in the context of scholastic theology in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Though this history might seem irrelevant to twenty-first-century life, Jean Porter shows that the scholastic approach to the natural law still has much to contribute to the contemporary discussion of Christian ethics. Aquinas and his interlocutors provide a way of thinking about the natural law that is distinctively theological while at the same time remaining open to other intellectual perspectives, including those of science. In the course of her work, Porter examines the scholastics' assumptions and beliefs about nature, Aquinas's account of happiness, and the overarching claim that reason can generate moral norms. Ultimately, Porter argues that a Thomistic theory of the natural law is well suited to provide a starting point for developing a more nuanced account of the relationship between specific beliefs and practices. While Aquinas's approach to the natural law may not provide a system of ethical norms that is both universally compelling and detailed enough to be practical, it does offer something that is arguably more valuable -- namely, a way of reflecting theologically on the phenomenon of human morality.

Nature, Reason, and the Good Life

Nature, Reason, and the Good Life

Author: Roger Teichmann

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199606177

Category: Philosophy

Page: 209

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At the centre of our ethical thought stands the human being. Roger Teichmann examines the ways in which facts about human nature determine the shape of ethical concepts such as rationality, virtue, and happiness. He argues that only by attending to the social and empirical character of language use can we address a number of problems in ethics.

Reason and Nature

Reason and Nature

Author: Morris R. Cohen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9780429860430

Category: Philosophy

Page: 470

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First published in 1931, this volume represents the culmination of twenty years’ of the study on the principles of science. Noticing a widespread craving for philosophical light at a time of scant such offerings, Morris R. Cohen aimed to demonstrate here the fundamental and ancient connection between nature and science - between hearts and minds – in an attempt to salve the developing mutual hostility between the two in the 1920s. The volume bears particular relation to George Santayana’s Life of Reason and Bertrand Russell’s Principles of Mathematics and explores areas including the character of the insurgence against reason and reason in the contexts of the natural and social sciences.

Reason in Nature

Reason in Nature

Author: Matthew Boyle

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674287686

Category: Philosophy

Page: 393

View: 470

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A group of distinguished philosophers reflect on John McDowell’s arguments for nonreductive naturalism, an approach that can explain what is special about human reason without implying that it is in any sense supernatural. John McDowell is one of the English-speaking world’s most influential living philosophers, whose work has shaped debates in mind, language, metaphysics, epistemology, meta-ethics, and the history of philosophy. A common thread running through McDowell’s diverse contributions has been his critique of a form of reductive naturalism according to which human minds must be governed by laws essentially similar to those that govern the rest of nature. Against this widely accepted view, McDowell maintains that human minds should be seen as “transformed” by reason in such a way that the principles governing our minds, while not supernatural, are in an important sense sui generis. Editors Matthew Boyle and Evgenia Mylonaki assemble a group of distinguished philosophers to clarify and criticize McDowell’s core position and explore its repercussions for contemporary debates about metaphysics and epistemology, perception, language, action, and value. The essays here scrutinize the core idea that human reason constitutes a second nature, emerging from humanity’s basic animal nature, and reflect on the underpinnings of McDowell’s claims in Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel. Many of the contributors extend McDowell’s views beyond his own articulations, elaborating the transformative role that reason plays in human experience. In clarifying and expanding McDowell’s insights, Reason in Nature challenges contemporary orthodoxy, much as McDowell himself has. And, as this collection makes clear, McDowell’s unorthodox position is of enduring importance and has wide-ranging implications, still not fully appreciated, for ongoing philosophical debates.

Religion, Reason and Nature in Early Modern Europe

Religion, Reason and Nature in Early Modern Europe

Author: R. Crocker

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789401597777

Category: Philosophy

Page: 236

View: 331

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From a variety of perspectives, the essays presented here explore the profound interdependence of natural philosophy and rational religion in the `long seventeenth century' that begins with the burning of Bruno in 1600 and ends with the Enlightenment in the early Eighteenth century. From the writings of Grotius on natural law and natural religion, and the speculative, libertin novels of Cyrano de Bergerac, to the better-known works of Descartes, Malebranche, Cudworth, Leibniz, Boyle, Spinoza, Newton, and Locke, an increasing emphasis was placed on the rational relationship between religious doctrine, natural law, and a personal divine providence. While evidence for this intrinsic relationship was to be located in different places - in the ideas already present in the mind, in the observations and experiments of the natural philosophers, and even in the history, present experience, and prophesied future of mankind - the result enabled and shaped the broader intellectual and scientific discourses of the Enlightenment.