Critique Of John Mitchell Finnis's Natural Law Theory

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John Mitchell Finnis is an Australian legal scholar and philosopher specialized in philosophy of law. He was the professor of law at University College, Oxford. John Finnis has written Natural Law and Natural Rights in 1980, basically a restatement of Natural law theory. John Finnis’ work is an explication and application of Aquinas’ view, an application to ethical question, but with special attention to the problems of social theory in general. Primary question in the legal theory of the Finnis was divided into ethical questions and meta-ethical questions. The ethical question is “How should one live?”, and the meta-ethical question is “How can we discover the answer to ethical questions?” Finnis’ response to these basic questions involves the claim that there are a number of separate but equally valuable goods known as basic goods. In his book “Natural Law and Natural Right” he listed the following seven items as basic goods – Life and health, Knowledge, Play, Aesthetic experience, Sociability or friendship, Practical reasonableness and religion. These are basic goods in the sense that one can value them for its own sake. While…show more content…
Finnis argues that there are, a set of notions that indicate the basic forms of human flourishing as goods to be pursued and realized and that are known to everyone who thinks about how they should act. These principles are buttressed by a set of basic methodological requirements of practical reasonableness, which distinguish sound from unsound practical thinking and provide the criteria for distinguishing between reasonable and unreasonable acts. Following these methodological requirements allows one to distinguish between acting morally right or morally wrong and to formulate a set of general moral

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