The Unnecessary Science

The Unnecessary Science is a necessary contribution to the debate over natural law theory in contemporary moral, metaphysical, and legal contexts. The intellectual foundations of natural law theory were laid by Aristotle, expanded by Thomas Aquinas, and refined by modern proponents such as Edward Feser. It is with all three of these thinkers that Gunther Laird takes issue.

This book is a meticulous critique of natural law theory, as proposed by these philosophers, with Laird pointing out myriad issues with the theory as pertaining to ethics (sexual and otherwise), essences, religion, philosophy of change, and the existence of God, among many other subjects. For anyone wondering what is wrong with both modern and ancient conceptions of natural law theory, this book is an essential read. For those comfortable in their belief in natural law theory, this book is equally as essential to understanding the strongest arguments of the theory’s foes. Laird’s book is the perfect foil to the writing of Feser, Aquinas and other natural-law adherents past and present.

“…an intellectual banquet of concepts, principles, arguments, and skeptical objections concerning religion and morality that draws upon the ideas of two of the greatest philosophers of western thought: Aristotle and Aquinas—as clarified and defended by the modern Catholic philosopher Ed Feser. Laird provides an antidote to Feser’s conservative Catholic views…”

– Bradley Bowen, The Secular Outpost

“A timely and devastating philosophical riposte to natural law theory and the growing tendrils of influence it has on modern society.”

– Jonathan MS Pearce, Not Seeing God: Atheism in the 21st Century

“Gunther Laird casts a critical eye over the books and blogs of Edward Feser… The work gives readers plenty to think about.”

– Graham Oppy, Professor of Philosophy, Monash University