The Tradition of Natural Law: A Philosopher's Reflections
The tradition of natural law is one of the foundations of Western civilization. At its heart is the conviction that there is an objective and universal justice which transcends humanity's particular expressions of justice. It asserts that there are certain ways of behaving which are appropriate to humanity simply by virtue of the fact that we are all human beings. Recent political debates indicate that it is not a tradition that has gone unchallenged: in fact, the opposition is as old as the tradition itself. By distinguishing between philosophy and ideology, by recalling the historical adventures of natural law, and by reviewing the theoretical problems involved in the doctrine, Simon clarifies much of the confusion surrounding this perennial debate. He tackles the questions raised by the application of natural law with skill and honesty as he faces the difficulties of the subject. Simon warns against undue optimism in a revival of interest in natural law and insists that the study of natural law beings with the analysis of the law of the land.He writes not as a polemicist but as a philosopher, and he writes of natural law with the same force, conciseness, lucidity and simplicity which have distinguished all his other works.
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actually antecedent Aristotle asserted axioms called cause century character circumstances civil cognition common commutative justice concerned condition consensus considered context contingency contrast definition demonstration Descartes determination dialectical difficulties divine doctrinal Epicurus essence Ethics example existence expression fact H. L. A. Hart human action i-ii ideas ideology inclination intellect intelligence issue Jacques Maritain Jean Jacques Rousseau judgment justice Kant knowledge Legal positivism logical Maritain mathematics matter meaning ment mind modern myth natural law theory naturally right necessity notion object philosophic physical Plato political positive law possible practical predicated premises principle proposition prudence question rational realize reason relation right by nature Rousseau rule Scholasticism sense Simon social society speak theol theoretical theory of natural things Thomas Aquinas tion tradition of natural trans truth understanding unity universal ural law W. D. Ross word wrong by nature Yves Yves Simon
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