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The Moral Foundations Of Private Law

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In The Moral Foundations of Private law, Gordley seeks to find what concepts are necessary to make sense of private law. In doing so, Gordley conveys a strong conviction in explaining these concepts through the teachings and theories of Aristotle, rather than through modern constructions. Although, Gordley argues that our private law is in essences, Aristotelian, is this actually the case and if so, does it have to be? Also, what is lost or gained by not basing our private law on Aristotle’s teachings? To explain private law in an Aristotelian way, one must learn the Aristotelian view of man. For Aristotle, “human happiness consists in living a distinctively happy life, a life which realizes, so far as possible, one’s potential as a human being. It is a life unlike that of other animals because a human being can act, not only by appetite, but by reason and will.” Man can understand that his actions can add to the individually human life he seeks to live. To access these actions that contribute to this life, man must gain a virtue, which the late Scholastics called prudence. Along with prudence it maybe necessary for man to have other virtues as well, because human beings are quite social amongst each other, part of living resorts us in helping others carryout their lives. Man should seek to acquire any item or thing that he may need and help others in doing so also. This leads to the objects of distributive and commutative justice. Distributive justice is to
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