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Fundamentals of Ethics [Paperback]

By John Finnis (Author)
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Item description for Fundamentals of Ethics by John Finnis...

Are we entitled to be confident that our moral judgements can be objective? Can they express insights into aspects of reality, rather than mere feelings, tastes, desires, decisions, upbringing, or conventions? Why must we consider some of our choices to be free, and how do our free choices matter? How far should our moral judgements be based on assessments of expected consequences? Can utilitarianism, and other consequentialist or proportionalist theories, be anything more than the rationalization of positions taken on other grounds?

The main theme of this book is the challenge to ethics from philosophical scepticism and from contemporary forms of consequentialism. But in seeking to meet this challenge, the book develops a sustained philosophical argument about many of the central questions of ethics. It reviews classical positions, and challenges some long-influential interpretations of those positions. It also reviews and participates in some recent developments and controversies in Anglo-American ethical theory.

The activity of ethical theorizing itself is shown to be a matter of free and intelligent decision, in pursuit of intelligible good; it thus provides a test-case for any ethical theory.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Georgetown University Press
Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 5.38" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1984
Publisher   Georgetown University Press
Age  22
ISBN  0878404082  
ISBN13  9780878404087  

Availability  89 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2017 05:14.
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More About John Finnis

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Finnis is Professor of Law at University of College, Oxford, U.K.

John Finnis has an academic affiliation as follows - University College, Oxford Oxford University Oxford University Oxford.

John Finnis has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Michael J. McGivney Lectures of the John Paul II Institute f

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity

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Reviews - What do customers think about Fundamentals of Ethics?

Textual and Philosophical Foundations for Natural Law  May 12, 2003
This is a must read for any one who wishes to get a fuller grasp of the natural law theory articulated in Finnis' monumental Natural Law and Natural Rights. This book is at once interpretive and analytical. It offers a reading of Aristotle that flashes out the Philosopher's approach to ethics. Ethics, for Aristotle, and also Aquinas, is practical. It is concerned with the thinking that is aimed at action. When thinking to act, it appears that one experientally will be guided by certain principles, however one wishes to deny it, which identify certain things to avoid and others to seek out and promote. Instead of deducing ethical precepts from a "function argument", say of human functions, as popular readings of Aristotle try to portray, Aristotle is instead concerned with pointing out long tested precepts which no one with a certain maturity would deny. Because of this last, Finnis moves from hermeneutics to philosophy, and readily offers thought experiments from various non-Aristotelian sources for the reader to consider, and through these Finnis thinks he can demonstrate a mutual consensus on certain goods to seek and evils to avoid. To agree with Finnis, one must not merely consider the logical possibility of denying these goods or evils, but really attempt to deliberate seriously such proposals with real honesty. Such an account is one which engages the reader with his own grasp of goods and evil, and not a text-book and dogmatic exposition of a "natural law theory", the latter of which would be a rather curiously self-contradictory approach. Hence, in appealing to and trying to reveal the Reader's own grasp of normative principles, Fundamentals of Ethics is one of those few works in natural law theory that are performatorily self-consistent, by alerting the reader the natural law which he already has. It is a work that is open to reality, and lays the foundation for an credibly revived thomistic natural law theory that is and continues to be influential and fruitful.
Modern Natural Law  Oct 21, 2000
John Finnis is probably the most famous now living philosopher in the Natural Law tradition of Aquinas. This work is clear, readable and challenging. A good introduction to his more demanding work "Natural Law and Natural Rights".

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