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Ultimate Normative Foundations
The Case for Aquinas's Personalist Natural Law
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Here is an ambitious and compelling presentation of Thomistic natural law theory as 'personalist,' that is, centered on fulfilling the good of the human person, especially 'the intellect's thirst for truth and the will's thirst for goodness.' The fresh and forceful approach of Rose Mary Hayden Lemmons shows once again the capacious power of Thomistic philosophical ethics to address the most persistent questions in moral philosophy and the most difficult practical issues of jurisprudence and politics. Lemmons is not the first to argue that eudaimonism generally, and Thomistic natural law theory in particular, best account for indefeasible and universal obligations; but in her sensitive and fully contemporary engagement with theoretical and practical questions she has advanced the philosophical conversation and the Catholic intellectual tradition. -- Joshua P. Hochschild, Mount St. Mary's University Mary Rose Hayden Lemmons deserves gratitude for providing this comprehensive introduction to a Thomistic personalist account of moral normativity as well as its dominant alternatives and criticisms. She retrieves Thomistic natural law through the lens of the normative demands of love. Students and teachers of moral philosophy and theology will enjoy this vigorous defense of the relevance of Thomistic thought for contemporary political and moral issues. The wonderful assemblage of quotes from Aquinas and other authors across the tradition in itself makes reading the book a profitable experience. -- Michael Dauphinais, Ave Maria University
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Rose Mary Hayden Lemmons is associate professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction Part 3 Part One. Problematic Sources of Normativity Chapter 4 Chapter One. Rational Intuitionism: Ross or Maritain Chapter 5 Chapter Two. Human or Divine Will: Kantianism or Divine Prescriptivism Chapter 6 Chapter Three. Natural Inclinations as a Voluntarist Naturalism Chapter 7 Chapter Four. Indispensable Social Goods Chapter 8 Chapter Five. Autonomous Virtues Chapter 9 Chapter Six. Eudaimonic Pluralism (the GBF Paradigm) Part 10 Part Two. Thomistic Normativity Chapter 11 Chapter Seven. Aquinas on Truth, Goodness, and Eudaimonia Chapter 12 Chapter Eight. Privileging the Love Precepts Part 13 Part Three. Thomistic Puzzles Chapter 14 Chapter Nine. Basic Questions and Responses Chapter 15 Chapter Ten. Whether Personalist Natural Law is a Thomistic Abomination? Part 16 Part Four. Classical and Contemporary Metaethical Challenges Chapter 17 Chapter Eleven. Challenges to Natural Law's Normativity, Objectivity, and Specificity Chapter 18 Chapter Twelve. The Challenges of Agnostic and Athestic Moral Eudaimonism Chapter 19 Chapter Thirteen. The Challenges of Voluntarist Liberty, and the Nietzschean Will to Power Part 20 Part Five. Love Precepts: Their Normativity and Specifications Chapter 21 Chapter Fourteen. Love's Normativity, and Love's Virtues Chapter 22 Chapter Fifteen. Neighborly Love: Personalist and Juridical Obligations Chapter 23 Chapter Sixteen. Loving God: Proportional Obligations Chapter 24 Chapter Seventeen. Updating the Parameters of War and Punishment With Love Part 25 Part Six. Global Challenges and Thomistic Responses Chapter 26 Chapter Eighteen. The Reality of Moral Diversity Chapter 27 Chapter Nineteen. The Globe, Feminism, and Aquinas Chapter 28 Chapter Twenty. Personalist Natural Law: Normative Advantages Chapter 29 Conclusion Chapter 30 Appendix. A Historical Sketch of Natural Law