Chapter

Introduction

John Finnis

in Intention and Identity

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580064
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729386 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580064.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter seeks to clarify and vindicate some main elements in the structure of human freedom, including its immateriality inseparably conjoined with materiality (as is manifested by words, whose material marks and sounds are freighted with meaning transmissible across space and time. Acknowledging freedom adequately involves rejecting Leibniz's ‘principle of sufficient reason’ and relying instead on rationality norms. Persons are substances of a rational nature. Groups are not substances but relationships of persons in virtue of a shared plan (purpose and coordinated action to pursue it), picked out in proposals for action. The conditions for sharing in a large, e.g., political community, need careful attention, as does the material substrate of human existence. Intention is a distinct reality, as the great variety of ways of referring to it testifies.

Keywords: freedom; spirit; Leibniz; sufficient reason; rationality norms; definition of person; proposals for action; groups; intention

Chapter.  6979 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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