Nature, Morality and Homosexuality


in In Defense of Natural Law

Published in print February 1999 | ISBN: 9780198267713
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683343 | DOI:
Nature, Morality and Homosexuality

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This chapter argues that Sullivan’s critique of natural law thinking about homosexuality and other questions of sexual morality ignores a distinction that is crucial to understanding this area, namely, the distinction between reasons for action and restraint, and desires, which may, rightly or wrongly, also motivate people. As in Sullivan’s essentially neo-Humean account of value, the basic goods of human nature which provide reasons for action should not be reduced, to desires, even of the deep and more or less stable sort which Sullivan describes as ‘yearnings’. The chapter aims to bring this distinction into focus which will prove that there is no inconsistency in the natural law position.

Keywords: homosexuality; sexual morality; reasons; desires; natural law

Chapter.  5050 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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