This central volume in the Collected Essays brings together John Finnis's wide-ranging contribution to fundamental issues in political philosophy. The volume begins by examining the general theory of political community and social justice. It includes the powerful and well-known Maccabaean Lecture on Bills of Rights -- a searching critique of Ronald Dworkin's moral-political arguments and conclusions, of the European Court of Human Rights' approach to fundamental rights, and of judicial review as a constitutional institution. It is followed by an equally searching analysis of Kant's thought on the intersection of law, right, andethics. Other papers in the book's opening section include an early assessment of Rawls's A Theory of Justice, foundational discussions of migration rights, national boundaries, and the rights of non-citizens, and a challenging paper on virtue and the constitution. The volume then focuses on central problems in modern political communities, including the practice of punishment; war and justice; the public control of euthanasia and abortion; and the nature of marriage and the common good. There are careful and vigorous critiques of Nietzsche on morality, Hart on punishment, Dworkin on the enforcement of morality and on euthanasia, Rawls on justice and law, Thomson on the woman's right to choose, Nussbaum and Koppelman on same-sex relations, and Dummettand Weithman on open borders. The volume's previously unpublished papers include a fresh statement of a new grounding for the morality of sex, a surprising reading of C.S. Lewis's Abolition of Man on genetic control and contraception, and an introduction focussing on the ultimate basis of equality and human rights.
- Publication Date:
- 07 / 04 / 2011