Natural Law: An Introduction and Re-examination

Book Report:

Natural Law: An Introduction and Re-examination.

By Howard P. Kainz

Read December 2009

Not as easy as The Quest for Moral Foundations because it was a compendium, as survey of old and new opinions about natural law ethics. Trying to explain two dozen philosophers in141 pages sacrifices a thorough approach.

It seemed to have as a mission to refute the simple mission of Montague Brown in his The Quest for Moral Foundations, to show all the permutations and objections to that Aristotle/Aquinas approach. It appears that John Finnis is the current embodiment of the two sages, their most fervent exponent. Kainz repeatedly referred to Finnis’ Natural Law and Natural Rights.

In the final chapter, where current issues are applied to the various styles of natural law, the author seems to take a “here’s how this could be handled using this approach, as opposed to that approach to natural law.” He seemed non-committal.

I enjoyed the book, though, feeling a little snowed, at times I had to push myself to get through. I won’t buy a copy for annotation. A second reading, sometime later, will probably illuminate the ideas.


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