Chapter

Natural Law

Garrett Barden and Tim Murphy

in Law and Justice in Community

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199592685
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595653 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592685.003.0008
Natural Law

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This chapter argues that the natural law is not a superior set of axioms, principles, or statutes that, for whatever reason, are not, or may not be, actually part of the law of the particular jurisdiction, but against which, nonetheless, a subordinate law may be tested and perhaps found wanting. It uses the word ‘natural’ to refer to what is intrinsic to a given situation or circumstance or to a practice or set of practices, that is, to the nature of the case. When discussing natural law, ‘the case’ is the human condition. Natural law refers primarily to the moral experience of being human, or, to put it another way, to the responsibility intrinsic to being human. The chapter places this account in the historical context of natural law discourse and suggests that St Thomas Aquinas's view is similar to the view expressed here.

Keywords: natural law; the human condition; moral experience; natural law discourse; St Thomas Aquinas

Chapter.  9657 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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