1st Edition

A Natural Law Approach to Normativity

ISBN 9781138259065
Published October 18, 2016 by Routledge
174 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Exploring the relationship between natural law theory and the philosophy of law, Bebhinn Donnelly proposes a new approach to natural law theory - one which addresses some of the tradition's shortcomings and advances further its approach to Hume's dichotomy. Key features: ¢ Provides a clear definition of `nature' in this context ¢ Contrasts the work of Hume and Kant regarding the `is/ought' issue ¢ Examines the approach in traditional natural law ¢ Presents a full discussion of Finnis and the departure from traditional natural law ¢ Proposes a new, natural law approach to normativity, drawing on the strengths of traditional natural law theory ¢ Illustrates how natural law may provide a normative base for law A Natural Law Approach to Normativity presents an original perspective on natural law theory and will be of interest to academics in philosophy of law, moral/political philosophy, natural law theorists, and students of jurisprudence internationally.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Hume and natural facts; Kant and natural facts; Early natural law: the fusion of fact and value; Early natural law: principles of practical reason; New and traditional natural law: epistemological comparisons; Natural law's contribution to normativity and law; Bibliography; Index.

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Bebhinn Donnelly is Lecturer in Law at the University of Swansea, UK.


'Everyone interested in the foundations of moral reasoning and their relation to human laws should read Dr Donnelly's meticulous argument. Students of jurisprudence and of moral philosophy will find in her book a valuable contribution to contemporary natural law theory, and trenchant support for the claim that moral meaning resides in essential natural facts about our existence as human beings.' Gordon R. Woodman, University of Birmingham, UK 'The author advances a distinctive understanding of the normative significance of the nature of man by working through classical natural law insights and broader philosophical objections to the natural law enterprise. She raises a clear challenge to the conventional assumptions of detractors, but also to the recent interpretations of its defenders. The book should startle those who thought they understood what was right, and those who thought they understood what was wrong with Natural Law.' Andrew Halpin, Swansea University, UK