Mgr Michał Sopiński
University of Warsaw
English abstract: This paper presents practical reasoning in the light of John M. Finnis’ new natural law theory. Finnis’ views were shaped by Aquinas’ thoughts on natural law but he was also strongly inspired by Germain Grisez’ new approach, so his theory could be named a new natural law theory. The aim of this paper is to analyse the concept of legal reasoning as practical reasoning, which Finnis intended mainly as a strong critique of Ronald Dworkin’s theory of legal reasoning based on the concept of the one right answer. According to the author of this paper, Finnis’ critical approach to Dworkin leads to a gradual extension of the former’s concept of legal reasoning to include positivistic aspects (rapprochement with Joseph Raz’ views) and institutional aspects (rapprochement with Neil MacCormick’s views). Therefore, Finnis’ theory of legal reasoning seems to be a model example of the rapprochement between natural law and legal positivism in contemporary philosophy of law.
Keywords: John M. Finnis, natural law, legal reasoning, practical reasoning, Ronald Dworkin, one right answer
Published: Number 1(21)/2020, pp. 84-98.
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