Natural Law: The Modern Tradition

Brian H. Bix

in The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270972
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Natural Law: The Modern Tradition

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This article focuses on recent works on natural law theory, particularly those that concentrate on discussing positive law. It opens up with a brief history and overview of natural law theories. The modern legal theorists who identify themselves with the natural law tradition seem to have objectives and approaches distinctly different from those classically associated with natural law. This article deals with two different types of natural law—natural law as moral/political theory and natural law as legal/social theory—as connected at a basic level. It discusses two lines of thought, natural law and natural rights, as interchangeable, or closely connected and reflects a modern perspective. The most important idea modern natural law theorists have brought to jurisprudence is that views of law that take into account law's moral aspirations offer a better understanding of social institution.

Keywords: natural law theory; political theory; social theory; modern perspective; jurisprudence

Article.  23630 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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