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Philosophy Conscience (Essay Sample)


      What are the most important senses of the words “nature” and “natural” for Mill?

-The nature of a thing means its entire capacity or exhibiting phenomena

- Natural means what is inherent to us as human beings

-morality is a sense of what ought to be


·     How is nature related to morality? Summarize Mill’s view of the relationship of nature to morality.

-mill says no real relationship and nature is immoral because it can’t make rational decisions it’s random

-ex. nature just “is” self indulgence is nature while self control is taught

·       How might one reply to Mill’s criticism to defend the moral relevance of nature?

-the nature of people to be moral*****

·       What sort of view of the relationship of nature and morality does Hume’s question rule out?

-rules out what is and what is not

What are Hart’s main objections to natural law?  Note: there are more than one.

-no connection between natural law and moral goodness

-nature law leaves for no improvement for laws

·       Do you agree with them?  Try and precisely formulate your view, whatever it is.

·       What does he mean by the “minimum content of natural law”?

-1. mortal 2. not everyone is a killer we all strive for survival 3. we have a sense of moral and legal obligations toward each other. we’re not angels nor are we devils 4. limited resources which gives birth to a property system.

-we are tempted to break moral obligations so we established a justice and punishment system

-each natural law gives birth to something else


   What is Aquinas’s basic definition of law?

-Law is  "a certain rule and measure of acts whereby man is induced to act or is restrained from acting." (q90, a1)

·       Do all the elements of the definition hold for all four types of law?

Natural- Yes, you cannot act outside your own nature.

Divine-Yes, induced to act certain way for eternal happiness.

Human-Yes,humans are induced to act certain way by threat of punishment

Eternal- Yes, because you cannot want anything besides complete happiness, which is God.

·       What is Aquinas’s basic definition of the natural law?

-natural law- decided by community. rational creatures’ participation in eternal law. subset of eternal law

Conscience, going by dictionary definition, refers one’s inner sense of that which is right or wrong in accordance with the person’s conduct or intention, propelling one toward the right action. This definition puts it out clearly that conscience gives knowledge of the actions of a person and choosing to do the right or wrong lies within that person’s powers. Nussbaum’s assertions that conscience is a faculty where one searches for the ultimate meaning of life and that it should be respected whether the person uses it in either a good or a bad way is not in line with the real meaning of the term conscience. Evaluation of Thomas Aquinas’ work especially on the Natural Law will help shade more light regarding his stance on the same issue.
The first description of the natural law according to Aquinas is that it is particularly the human involvement in the undying law, in divine intervention (McInerny). He illustrates that every creature has an order to the end and that their natures are the fulfillment due to those natures. Human beings are well aware that they are fashioned to find good in the course of fulfilling their nature (McInerny). This may be true to all creatures but others have predestined ends of which they are unconscious of. Humans are expected to identify the good and direct themselves towards that good. Even if human beings do not have that freedom of choosing only the good, all choices that they may make are under that aspect of the good (McInerny). They lack that freedom to that which is opposed to their apparent good what it is. Humans however have the freedom to direct themselves or not to do so to their true ends.
Another description of the natural law is based on the staring points or the first principles of practical reasoning. This description is explained by the knowledge of simple and the knowledge of complex. Knowledge of the simple, according to Aquinas is a concept that is expressed in a definition or description. Knowledge of the complex, on the other hand, is a verification or repudiation of one thing of the other (McInerny). Each of the two orders has a given thing which is first. Thomas to that effect asserts that there is in place a conception that comes before and is presumed by other conceptions and a specific judgment that comes before and is presumed by the other judgments. Because the expression of knowledge is in form of language, there is that one word or a single statement that one will utter at the very first time of talking. That is very wrong according to Thomas.
Thomas is of the view that the first conception for humans is that of being, of that which is ...
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