I can't find it in the first edition but here is the list of the second edition : life, knowledge, play, aesthetic experience, sociability (friendship), practical reason and religion. On what page can I find it in the first edition?

1 Answer 1


From a review of the first edition (1980) of Finnis' book:

In any event, Finnis' chapters III-IV offer the following listing of these fundamental values: A. Life, B. Knowledge, C. Play, D. Aesthetic experience, E. Sociability (friendship), F. Practical reasonableness, and G. Religion (awareness of some higher cause of order). These seven goods are identical with those in Grisez's list, with the exception of integrity which Finnis puts under practical reasonableness. We are not told, either by Grisez or Finnis, how this list has been selected as fundamental to human well-being, beyond the suggestion that these are the chief objectives toward which men incline.

The review is in Henry B. Veatch The American Journal of Jurisprudence, Volume 26, Issue 1, 1981, Pages 247–259

Apparently both editions list the same 7 goods. And Finnis was not the first who compiled this list.

  • 1
    Thanks for this perfect answer. Who compiled it first ? Germain Grisez ?
    – Prof Leon
    Apr 17, 2022 at 20:55
  • @ProfLeon Lists of the seven goods are much older than Grisez or Finnis. I am optimistic that one finds a similar list in the writings of Thomas Aquinas. One can search for the correponding quaestiones of Summa Theologica. And before Thomas Aquinas searching in Aristotle's writings, e.g. in the Nicomachean Ethics.
    – Jo Wehler
    Apr 17, 2022 at 21:18
  • An old formula. Same office, new people. 🙂
    – Hudjefa
    May 13, 2023 at 2:47

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