Concepts of Nature: Ancient and Modern

Agora Institute Senior Fellow, R.J. Snell, and former Research Director, Steven McGuire, publish a new edited volume with Lexington Books, Concepts of Nature: Ancient and Modern. It seems to many that natural law arguments struggle to gain traction in contemporary moral and political discourse because modern human beings do not share the understanding of nature on which that language was developed. Building on the work of important thinkers of the last half-century, including Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, John Finnis, Bernard Lonergan, and others, the essays in this volume compare and contrast classical, medieval, and modern conceptions of nature in order to better understand how and why the concept of nature no longer seems to provide a limit or standard for human action. These essays also aim to evaluate whether a rearticulation of pre-modern ideas (or perhaps a reconciliation or reconstitution on modern terms) is desirable and/or possible.

This book will be of interest to intellectual historians, political theorists, theologians, and philosophers.