Natural law is a perennial though poorly represented and understood issue in political philosophy and the philosophy of law. In this 2006 book, Mark C. Murphy argues that the central thesis of natural law jurisprudence - that law is backed by decisive reasons for compliance - sets the agenda for natural law political philosophy, demonstrating how law gains its binding force by way of the common good of the political community. Murphy's work ranges over the central questions of natural law jurisprudence and political philosophy, including the formulation and defense of the natural law jurisprudential thesis, the nature of the common good, the connection between the promotion of the common good and requirement of obedience to law, and the justification of punishment.
What is Justice? Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2nd edition, brings together many of the most prominent and influential writings on the topic of justice, providing an exceptionally comprehensive introduction to the subject. It places special emphasis on "social contract" theories of justice, both ancient and modern, culminating in the monumental work of John Rawls and various responses to his work. It also deals with questions of retributive justice and punishment, topics that are often excluded from other volumes on justice. This new edition features expanded and updated readings on justice and punishment and includes more recent responses to John Rawls's work. Part One of the book features selections from classical sources including Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, and Mencius, as well as excerpts from the Bible and the Koran. Part Two provides readings on the state of nature and the social contract, from Hobbes and Locke to Rawls, Nozick, Gauthier, and Baier. Part Three includes the Declaration of Independence and Amendments to the U. S. Constitution in addition to selections on property and social justice by Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Engels, Marx, Mill, and several contemporary authors. Part Four offers a wide variety of readings on punishment, several of which address the death penalty. Part Five begins with selections from Rawls's work and includes responses from Dworkin, Nagel, Nozick, MacIntyre, Sandel, Walzer, Okin, and Rawls himself.