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Natural Law: Reflections On Theory & Practice 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1890318680
ISBN-10: 189031868X
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: St. Augustines Press; 1 edition (April 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189031868X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890318680
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maritain has a goldmine of information in this little book for those interested in the tradtional view of Natural Law. I have read several books on the Natural Law, some very good ones, but they all left me with a feeling of incompleteness. Maritain does not do this, he fills the gap here and covers an immense amount of ground in such a short space. Worthy of special mention is the relationship of human rights to the Natural Law and how rights must be founded on it - for without Natural Law there is no true obligation.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the moral and political applications of Natural Law.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jacques Maritain, a 20th century Catholic philosopher, was instrumental in the development of human rights theory and the 1948 U.N. Declaration. Maritain posited that the Natural Law tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas gives rise to the concept of universal human rights, a necessary moral force in today's pluralistic world. His writings influenced public figures from Flannery O'Connor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But this particular collection of speeches is not especially clear or coherent. This exceedingly thin paperback introduces you to a lot of his key concepts and ideas, but it's not the best Maritain because it lacks context, and it's not terribly clear as a result. In my opinion, you really need his full writings (like "The Person and the Common Good") to understand the concepts referenced in these little talks.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jacques Maritain (1882-1973) was a 20th century philosopher with deep interest in Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). The UN convened Maritain, Robert Oppenheimer, et. al. in 1948 to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The goal of this book is to carve out a space for Natural Law responsible for and dictating human morality, doing so outside conceptualizations of a skeptical age that has dismissed it. To do this Maritain argues for “connatural” knowledge, something like inclination, intuition, or faith though he doesn’t use this word. Similar to Michael Polanyi’s Personal Knowledge theory without Polanyi’s rigorous definition of its source. Natural Law links to human nature through connaturallity, placing both outside “scientific” characterization. Connatural knowledge is gained by a life of moral learning, revealed over time which allows for errors, potentially perverted by history or culture. This does not make Natural Law an historical accident or mere social preference (postmodernism) any more than addition errors prove arithmetic invalid, says Maritain. Like athletes who train on details at first uncoordinated, practice leads to instinctive execution. Likewise, behavior of virtuous people need not consult their philosophy for rational determinations of right and wrong. As a musical instrument is bound by rules for proper play, so too for humans, as Natural Law is based on human nature. Excel at those rules, the instrument makes music. Using a violin to dig a ditch violates its rules of action and destroys it. While Natural Law for the ancients and Medievals emphasized obligation, not rights, Maritain argues rights are another product of Natural Law revealed over time.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
You'll go into a Barnes and Noble and see on a desk a sign raised which reads "thought-provoking." More often than not the desk inhabits atheist agenda and nonsense, which the casual reader is always tempted to wonder about, though the trained reader always deplores. This is a book - this is an author - that deserves the title "thought-provoking." Maritain is as interesting, is as lucid, is as creative as he is brilliant.
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