Reason, Authority, and Friendship

John Finnis

in Reason in Action

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580057
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729379 | DOI:
Reason, Authority, and Friendship

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The first section of this chapter engages with Hart and Kelsen on the method of legal theory, in a close dialectic with Aristotle's method in his Politics, especially his identification of central and secondary cases of social realities, and his grounds for attributing centrality or non-centrality. Exploration of Aristotle's appeal to the standards of the morally sound person leads to the second section, examining the course of 20th-century English moral philosophy through the eyes of Geoffrey Warnock, and with special reference to Philippa Foot (whose comment on the chapter is the subject of a long endnote). Friendship, it is argued, carries us beyond the contrast between egoistic flourishing and justice, though Aristotle's account of friendship has its difficulties, too. Recognition of legal obligation is, centrally, appreciation of one's moral obligation.

Keywords: Hart; Kelsen; Geoffrey Warnock; Philippa Foot; legal theory; 20th century ethics; central and secondary cases; friendship

Chapter.  10560 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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