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A Shared Morality: A Narrative Defense of Natural Law Ethics

A Shared Morality: A Narrative Defense of Natural Law Ethics

by Craig A. Boyd
A Shared Morality: A Narrative Defense of Natural Law Ethics

A Shared Morality: A Narrative Defense of Natural Law Ethics

by Craig A. Boyd


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The contemporary ethical and moral landscape is one of confusion and cacophony. Theories of ethics are often presented in terms of the horns of a dilemma in our postmodern world. On the one hand, ethical relativism is deemed both descriptive and prescriptive; on the other hand, moral absolutism is foundational. In reality, other options exist. In this groundbreaking book, Craig A. Boyd presents the alternative of natural law morality.

"Craig A. Boyd's A Shared Morality makes an important contribution to the literature on natural law and the virtues. Boyd offers a cogent and historically grounded account of why common human morality is best conceived along lines provided by the natural law tradition. He offers a clear normative thesis but is fair-minded to opposing positions and aware of the need for further work on the topic. This book will be especially interesting to those interested in issues of relativism, moral reasoning, and cross-cultural morality. It should be read by ethicists, theologians, and anyone concerned about the moral foundations of human rights and the common good."

--Stephen J. Pope, author of The Ethics of Aquinas

"Natural law advocates and virtue 'theorists' have largely ignored one another. In this book, Boyd develops a constructive engagement between these positions to which I hope philosophers and theologians will attend . If they are like me, they will learn much from this book."

--Stanley Hauerwas, author of The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics

"Craig A. Boyd has developed a contemporary version of natural law ethics, drawing more on sociobiology and current concepts of nature than on Aristotelian metaphysics. Yet he follows Aquinas on the good life by tying natural law to virtue ethics, which in turn leads to a divine command theory of moral obligation. Add this to his vigorous response to analytic moral philosophy and to scientific and postmodern criticisms, and the result is a splendid treatment of contemporary philosophical ethics. The exposition is both clear and competent, his research thorough, and the argument persuasive. It's a book I strongly recommend for teacher and student alike."

--Arthur Holmes, professor emeritus of philosophy, Wheaton College

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585585090
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/01/2007
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 272
File size: 714 KB

About the Author

Craig A. Boyd (PhD, St. Louis University) is professor of philosophy and director of faith integration at Azusa Pacific University. He has published numerous journal articles and presented at many scholarly conferences.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. The Narrative of Natural Law

3. The Scientific Challenge: Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology

4. The Religious Challenge: Divine Command Ethics

5. The Cultural Challenge: Post-modernist Relativism

6. The Philosophical Challenge: Analytical Philosophy

7. Natural Law and the Virtues

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