Lecture Series on "Natural Law" – Natural Law and Human Behaviour



The Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy will hold a Public Lecture titled “Natural Law and Human Behaviour” on the 20th April 2021.

Covid-19 impacts our life and world dramatically. Scientists claim, that this situation might have been caused – among other factors – by a wrong treatment of nature by humans. Did nature put its brakes on to correct human behavior? Can we humans discover in nature how to act correctly? Does nature help us to get to know what to do? Philosophically speaking, should actions follow our being (agere sequitur esse), and is ethics fundamentally hooked up with reality and ontology? (bonum et verum convertuntur). Does the “ought” follow from the “is”, and should human life and societies comply with how things are?

After overcoming the mechanistic reductionism of the “natural fallacy”, which denies “value judgments” originating from “is” or facts, this Lecture Series attempts to trace back question of “natural goodness” (Philippa Foot), morals and good actions “in accord with reason” (S. Thomas Aquinas, S.Th. I-II.21.1.; ST I-II, 90.1). The philosophical and catholic tradition calls this the morality of the “natural law”. The lectures shed light on development and relevance of Natural Law from different philosophical and theological angles.

About the Talk & Speaker:

This lecture examines how studies in the behavioural sciences relate to Natural Law theory.  In particular it looks into the idea of ‘consent’ in human acts.  This will be done by exploring the interplay between human reason and the biological-psychological-cultural factors that influence human behaviour.  It will also point to certain paradoxes of being human where ‘consent’ has to contend with the complexity and rigor of negotiation when confronted with the morality of decision-making.

Ian Shelley Alabanza teaches courses in the Master of Philosophy programme as well as at the undergraduate level on topics related to epistemology, ethics, and comparative philosophy. He also has a background in theology and has researched on migration and religion. His other academic interests include neuropsychology, social psychology, and sociology of religion.

Prof. Ian Shelley ALABANZA / Ph.D in Global Studies, University of Saint Joseph


Date: 20th April 2021
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Don Bosco Auditorium, USJ Ilha Verde Campus

Organised by: Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy, University of Saint Joseph

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*This Public Lecture will be conducted in English

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