Josef Fuchs' Revised Natural Law: Possibilities for Social Ethics


  • James P. O'Sullivan


In the second half of the twentieth century Josef Fuchs put forward a major re-visioning of the natural law, but this re-visioning did not include a robust social ethic. In this paper the author first undertakes an explication of the development, context, and major features of Fuchs’ theory. Next, in order to locate it within other twentieth century developments in natural law theory, Fuchs’ theory is related to Jacques Maritain's re-visioning of natural law, with its clear social-ethical implications. Finally, the author draws out some of the potential implications and applications of Fuchs’ revised natural law for social ethics.