Does natural law have non-normative foundations?

Sophia 41 (1):1-17 (2002)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper addresses one aspect of the natural law theory of Germain Grisez. According to Grisez, practical reason identifies the goods of human life prior to the invocation of any moral or normative notions. It can thus provide a non-normative foundation for moral theory. I present Grisez’s position and argue that the apparently non-normative aspect of natural law cannot support the moral position built upon it. I argue, in particular, that practical principles, as Grisez understands them, are best understood as speech acts. If this is correct, it is possible to develop a sceptical challenge to Grisez’s position



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,323

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Against Normative Naturalism.Matthew S. Bedke - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):111 - 129.
Aquina's Ultimate Ends: A Reply to Grisez.Scott MacDonald - 2001 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 46 (1):37-49.
Toward a Unified Foundation of Natural Law Ethics.Edmund Wall - 2010 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):747-779.
Irreducibly Normative Properties.Chris Heathwood - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 10:216–244.
Natural Law and the Transcendent Source of Human Fulfillment.Germain Grisez - 2013 - In John Keown & Robert P. George (eds.), Reason, morality, and law: the philosophy of John Finnis. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 443.
Holism, Weight, and Undercutting.Mark Schroeder - 2010 - Noûs 45 (2):328 - 344.
Intending Damage to Basic Goods.C. Tollefsen - 2008 - Christian Bioethics 14 (3):272-282.


Added to PP

12 (#1,090,954)

6 months
2 (#1,206,262)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ian Gold
McGill University

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references