Reason in Action: Introduction
John M. Finnis, REASON IN ACTION: COLLECTED ESSAYS VOLUME I, Oxford: OUP, 2011
16 Pages Posted: 24 May 2011 Last revised: 19 Aug 2011
Date Written: February 24, 2011
This Introduction to my Reason in Action: Collected Essays Volume I (Oxford University Press 2011), published in the United Kingdom in early April, and in the United States in early May 2011, introduces the volume’s 19 published and unpublished essays, and follows the volume’s division into three Parts: Foundations; Building on the Foundations; Public Reason and Unreason. The first two-thirds of the Introduction is, in effect, a brief new essay on practical reason and its principal elements: understood goods, the difference between their epistemological and their ontological relation to human nature, and their place in moral judgment. Issue is joined with Hume, Kant, Timothy Chappell, Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum, and John Rawls. The essays themselves take up issues with those authors, and with Christine Korsgaard, Bernard Williams, Matthew Kramer, Leo Strauss, Terence Irwin, Philippa Foot, and a good many others. The Introduction, like the volume, intersects with the Introductions to, and contents of, the other volumes in the five-volume set, which is published just before the second edition of Natural Law and Natural Rights, reformatted to accompany the set and incorporating a 65-page Postscript. The Collected Essays are I Reason in Action, II Intention and Identity, III Human Rights and Common Good, IV Philosophy of Law, V Religion and Public Reasons. Each volume includes the index for the set, and the author’s bibliography.
Keywords: philosophy of law, moral and political philosophy, theology, religious ethics, Catholic Church
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