Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's only Natural...

The philosopher David Bentley Hart recently touched off a natural law debate with an article in the March issue of First Things (HT: First Thoughts). Hart basically argues that natural law arguments are unpersuasive in today's public square, in addition to being philosophically problematic (falling prey to the standard "is-ought" problem).

There have been several responses from around the conservative blogosphere. Rod Dreher and Alan Jacobs at The American Conservative are both sympathetic to Hart, while R.J Snell at Public Discourse defends the viability of "new" natural law theory, which focuses on practical reasoning.

Closer to home, our friend Brandon Watson is very critical of Hart's Kantianism, on Siris and on Edward Feser's combox. Meanwhile, Feser, fresh from another take down of Lawrence Krauss's "nothing" nonsense, just posted a response to Hart on the First Things page.

Not on the topic of natural law but still somewhat relevant is James Chastek's post on "blindness to what is self-evident to us."


James Chastek of Just Thomist posted his take on Hart.

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