Editor: Wipf and Stock Publishers
File Format: Pdf
The Light That Binds by , Summary
If there is any one author in the history of moral thought who has come to be associated with the idea of natural law, it is Saint Thomas Aquinas. Many things have been written about Aquinas’s natural law teaching, and from many different perspectives. The aim of this book is to help see it from his own perspective. That is why the focus is metaphysical. Aquinas’s whole moral doctrine is laden with metaphysics, and his natural law teaching especially so, because it is all about first principles. The book centers on how Aquinas thinks the first principles of practical reason, which for him are what make up natural law, function as laws. It is a controversial question, and the book engages a variety of readers of Aquinas, including Francisco Suárez, Jacques Maritain, prominent analytical philosophers, Straussians, and the initiators of the New Natural Law theory. Among the issues addressed are the relation between natural law and natural inclination, how far natural law depends on knowledge of human nature, what its obligatory force consists in, and, above all, how it is related to what for Aquinas is the first principle of all being, the divine will.