Chapter 13. Natural Law Theory

  1. Dennis Patterson Professor2,3,4
  1. Brian Bix

Published Online: 27 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320114.ch13

A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition

A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition

How to Cite

Bix, B. (2010) Natural Law Theory, in A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition (ed D. Patterson), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320114.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 2

    European University Institute, Florence, Italy

  2. 3

    Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, New Jersey, USA

  3. 4

    Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom

Author Information

  1. Frederick W. Thomas Professor for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law and Language, University of Minnesota Law School and Professor of Philosophy, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405170062

Online ISBN: 9781444320114

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Keywords:

  • contemporary schools and perspectives;
  • natural law theory - long and distinguished history;
  • “Traditional” natural law theory - arguments for existence of a “higher law”;
  • traditional approach to natural law and Thomas Aquinas;
  • Aquinas's four different laws - the eternal law, natural law, divine law, and human (positive) law;
  • Natural law in early modern Europe;
  • differences between right and wrong - cannot be drawn at level of basic goods;
  • Finnis, moving from basic goods to moral choices - series of intermediate principles;
  • Ronald Dworkin, influential English-language legal theorist;
  • “traditional natural law theory” and “modern natural law theory”

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Traditional Natural Law Theory

  • Modern Natural Law Theory

  • Conclusion

  • References