Moral law

Mark C. Murphy

in God and Moral Law

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693665
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732010 | DOI:
Moral law

Show Summary Details


This chapter provides an account of the nature of moral law. Some philosophers, most notably Anscombe, have held that moral law is a parochial notion, at home only within a very limited subset of moral views. This chapter argues for an account of moral law that has a place within a wide variety of ethical views. It proceeds by asking what we can learn about how to characterize moral law from current philosophical treatments of the notion of a law of nature by Lewis, Armstrong, Dretske, and others. Drawing on discussions of the laws of nature in metaphysics and philosophy of science, this chapter defends a conception of moral law in which a moral law obtains when some set of descriptive properties morally necessitates an agential response (e.g. an action or attitude).

Keywords: moral law; law of nature; Anscombe; Lewis; Armstrong; Dretske

Chapter.  13721 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.