Germain Grisez

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Germain Gabriel Grisez (September 30, 1929 – February 1, 2018) was a French-American philosopher.[1] Grisez's development of ideas from Thomas Aquinas has redirected Roman Catholic thought and changed the way it has engaged with secular moral philosophy. In 'The First Principle of Practical Reason: A Commentary on the Summa Theologiae, I-II, Q. 94, A. 2' (1965) Grisez attacked the neo-scholastic interpretation of Aquinas as holding that moral norms are derived from methodologically antecedent knowledge of human nature. Grisez defended the idea of metaphysical free choice, and proposed a natural law theory of practical reasoning and moral judgement which, although broadly Thomistic, departs from Aquinas on significant points.[2]

Through the prism of his reworking of Thomas Aquinas’s take on natural law theory, Grisez also was one of the most outspoken and forceful defenders of traditional views on contested matters in sexual morality, such as birth control and abortion. He also wrote influential articles on biotechnology and how such technologies could be used either to support palliative care and the dignity of life or speed up the end of life.

Grisez was the Most Rev. Harry J. Flynn Professor of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD[3] from 1979 to his retirement in 2009.

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  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ George, Robert P. (1995). Honderich, Ted, ed. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 328. ISBN 0-19-866132-0. 
  3. ^ New documents reveal inner workings of papal birth control commission