Natural Law and Practical Rationality

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"Natural Law and Practical Rationality is a defense of a contemporary natural law theory of practical rationality, exhibiting its inherent plausibility and engaging systematically with rival egoist, consequentialist, Kantian, and virtue accounts. It will be of interest to professionals and students of moral philosophy, the philosophy of law, and political theory."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Murphy develops his ideas thoroughly, treats his critics fairly, and presents a well-argued, highly sophisticated case for his version on natural law." Theological Studies

"This book should and will be a focus of debate among those people who advocate various versions of natural right in moral, political, and legal important book that should be studied by all contemporary students of the issues it treats." The Thomist

"An impressive tour de force...Any philosopher doing work in contemporary ethics generally, as well as those doing work specifically in the areas of natural law and practical reason, will benefit enormously from grappling with the vigorous argumentation of this book." Review of Metaphysics

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: Natural Law and the Theory of Practical Rationality 1
1 The Real Identity Thesis 6
1.1 Rival Views of How Goods Are Known 6
1.2 Functioning and Flourishing 21
1.3 Knowledge of Human Flourishing 34
1.4 The Real Identity Thesis 40
2 Well-Being 46
2.1 Natural Law Theory as Welfarist and Objectivist 46
2.2 The Refutation of Conceptual Subjectivism 48
2.3 The Simple Desire-Fulfillment Theory as the Best Version of Strong Subjectivism 50
2.4 The Refutation of Strong Subjectivism 71
2.5 The Refutation of Weak Subjectivism 76
2.6 'Objective List' Theories 94
3 The Reasons That Make Action Intelligible 96
3.1 The List of Goods 96
3.2 Pleasure and Pain 96
3.3 The Basic Goods 100
3.4 Inner Peace, Happiness, and the Hybrid View of the Nature of Well-Being 135
3.5 The Real Identity Thesis Revisited 137
4 Welfarism and Its Discontents 139
4.1 Welfarism in the Theory of Practical Rationality 139
4.2 Welfarism Does Not Imply Egoism 140
4.3 Welfarism Does Not Imply a Maximizing Theory of Rationality 142
4.4 Welfarism Does Not Imply Promotionism 147
5 The Principles That Make Choice Reasonable 157
5.1 A Justificatory Framework for Principles of Practical Reasonableness 157
5.2 Egoism, Consequentialism, Kantianism 162
5.3 The Nature of Reasons for Action 172
5.4 A Note on Hierarchy among the Basic Goods 190
5.5 Principles of Practical Reasonableness Governing Plans of Action 198
5.6 Principles of Practical Reasonableness Governing Agents 208
5.7 Virtue Theory 212
6 What Ought to Be Done 220
6.1 'Ought' 220
6.2 The Moral 'Ought' 222
6.3 How Practical Reason Can Err 228
6.4 Moral Dilemmas 240
6.5 Positive Norms, Life Plans, and the Partial Constitution Thesis 246
6.6 Normative Openness and Natural Law Theories of Authority 252
Notes 255
Works Cited 271
Index 279
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