20Jan 2017

THE IDEA OF PRACTICAL REASONABLENESS.

  • 2nd year and 3rd semester, National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam.
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The idea of practical reasonableness has been developed by John Finnis as one of the seven basic goods. The other basic goods are pursued with the help of this good. All these goods are objective goods which are self evident and they are not questionable. In order to know whether our decisions are practically reasonable or not Finnis has given nine requirements of practical reasonableness. These nine requirements are- coherent plan of life, non arbitrariness in the preference among values, non arbitrariness among persons, detachment, commitment, limited relevance of consequences, equal value to all the basic goods, following one’s conscience. John Finnis is also against consequentialism or utilitarianism. This project therefore tries to study the idea of practical reasonableness as put forward by Finnis. Aim and Objective: To study the idea of practical reasonableness put forwards by John Finnis. Research Questions:- • What is the idea of practical reasonableness? • What are the requirements of practical reasonableness? • How did Finnis criticized consequentialism? Scope and Limitation: The scope of the project is limited to the idea of practical reasonableness of John Finnis. Review of LiteratureL John Finnis, Natural Law & Natural Rights( Paul Craig, 2nd Edition Oxford University Press 2011) This book is the seminal work of John Finnis where he has discussed in detail his ideas of practical reasonableness. Practical reasonableness according to him is one through which we pursue the other basic goods. In his book he talks about the seven basic goods and practical reasonableness is one of them. He has listed down nine requirements of practical reasonableness. Through these requirements we can actually know if our decisions are practically reasonable or not. According to him consequentialists are not practically reasonable. They always talks about maximizing the net goodness but according to Finnis its not possible. Again what is good for one might be different for others. Conor O’ Mahony, ‘ The Failings of Practical Reasonableness: Another Look at John Finnis’ ( Cork Online Law Review 2002) http://www.corkonlinelawreview.com/editions/2002/2002-5.pdf accessed 10 October 2016This article provides a critique to Finnis’s idea of practical reasonableness. The author has criticized Finnis of giving more importance to practical reasonableness then other goods. Research Methodology: The type of research is qualitative and doctrinal. Secondary sources are taken help of. Websites, blogs and books are taken help of to make the project.


  1. John Finnis, Natural Law & Natural Rights( Paul Craig, 2nd Edition Oxford University Press 2011) https://disciplinas.stoa.usp.br/.../John%20Finnis%20Natural%20Law%20and%20Natural... Accessed on 19 October 2016
  2. Suri Ratnapala, Jurisprudence (ISBN-13 978-0-511-59483-0 2009, Cambridge University Press)
  3. Websites and Blogs
  4. Conor O’ Mahony, ‘ The Failings of Practical Reasonableness: Another Look at John Finnis’ ( Cork Online Law Review 2002) http://www.corkonlinelawreview.com/editions/2002/2002-5.pdf accessed 10 October 2016
  5. ‘ John Finnis- Natural Law- a quick summary http://drmyrawilliamson.com/lectures/johnfinnis.pdf accessed on 19 October 2016

[Diksha Sarma. (2017); THE IDEA OF PRACTICAL REASONABLENESS. Int. J. of Adv. Res. 5 (1). 357-362] (ISSN 2320-5407). www.journalijar.com


Diksha, Sarma
National Law University, Assam

DOI:


Article DOI: 10.21474/IJAR01/2754       DOI URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.21474/IJAR01/2754


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