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

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Philosophy Conscience


      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


Name Institution Lecturer Date Conscience 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


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