Nature-based Ethics: A review of Ontological Approach of Allamah Tabatabaii and Finiss

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD of studies on religion and researcher of al-Mustafa international research center,

2 professor of Qom University


Nature- based ethics is the way of understanding felicity on the basis of man's natural capacities and powers, which had existed in Greek tradition, especially in Aristotelian one, and was later followed in St. Aquinas's attitude and his tradition. John Finiss, one of the contemporary thinkers and followers of this moral tradition, has tried to depict the path of understanding and realization of man's felicity through nature-based ethics, following Aquinas. Allamah Tabatabaii has also based his moral views on man's natural characteristic and capacities and provided an account of ethical theory of natural law in Islamic tradition. Reviewing the views of these two thinkers in terms of ontology of values shows they are different in the type of realistic and ontological approach, and the number, the manner of existence, and the type of relationship between basic goods, despite significant similarities. The analysis of these differences indicates that Tabatabaii's approach in ontological dimension of moral theory of natural law is more reasonable and defensible than that of Finiss. The present paper seeks to review and analyze the views of these two thinkers about the nature based-ethics in terms of ontology of issues related to the theory of natural law. 


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