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In Defense of Natural Law

Robert P. George (Oxford University Press: April 2001), 360 pages.

In Making Men Moral, his 1995 book, Robert George questioned the central doctrines of liberal jurisprudence and political theory. In his new work he extends his critique of liberalism and goes beyond it to show how contemporary natural law theory provides a superior way of thinking about basic problems of justice and poltical morality. It is written with the same combination of stylistic elegance and analytical rigor that distinguishes his critical work. Not content merely to defend natural law against its cultural critics, he deftly turns the tables and deploys the idea to mount a stunning attack on predominant liberal beliefs about such issues as abortion, sexuality, and the place of religion in public life. Readers interested in law, political science, and philosophy will find George’s arguments both challenging and compelling. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Introduction    1
  • Pt. 1    Theoretical Issues    15
    • 1    A Defense of the New Natural Law Theory    17
    • 2    Recent Criticism of Natural Law Theory    31
    • 3    Natural Law and Human Nature    83
    • 4    Does the ‘Incommensurability Thesis’ Imperil Common Sense Moral Judgments?    92
    • 5    Natural Law and Positive Law    102
    • 6    Free Choice, Practical Reason and Fitness for the Rule of Law    113
  • Pt. 2    Moral and Political Questions    123
    • 7    Religious Liberty and Political Morality    125
    • 8    Marriage and the Liberal Imagination    139
    • 9    What Sex Can Be: Alienation, Illusion or One-Flesh Union    161
    • 10    Making Children Moral: Pornography, Parents and the Public Interest    184
    • 11    Public Reason and Political Conflict: Abortion and Homosexuality    196
    • 12    Natural Law and International Order    228
  • Pt. 3    Dialectical Engagement    247
    • 13    Moral Particularism, Thomism and Traditions    249
    • 14    Human Flourishing as a Criterion of Morality: A Critique of Perry’s Naturalism    259
    • 15    Nature, Morality and Homosexuality    276
    • 16    Can Sex Be Reasonable?    287
    • 17    Moralistic Liberalism and Legal Moralism    300
    • 18    Law, Democracy and Moral Disagreement    315
    • Index    335