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The Natural Law (European Political Thought Series) Hardcover – May, 1979

ISBN-13: 978-0405117329 ISBN-10: 0405117329

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Product Details

  • Series: European Political Thought Series
  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Ayer Co Pub (May 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0405117329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0405117329
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James E. Egolf VINE VOICE on September 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Heinrich Rommen's book titled THE NATURAL LAW was written in 1946 and published in 1947 against the background of the rise and fall of the National Socialists and the terrible tragedies of W.W. II. Rommen's book is a poignant reminder of what the law should as opposed to the will of the ruler, the party, the Volks, etc. This book is based on the Catholic Scholastics and especially St. Thomas Aquinas'(1225-1275) thinking. Rommen included the later Scholastics such as Suarez c. 1545-1618). Readers are shown a reasonable and logical view of law vs. the will of the ruler(s).

Rommen deals with Natural Law as an attempt to reflect what religious men and women consider as a reflection of God's Law. The thinking was that since God is the Creator and author of nature, Natural Law should be an attempt to reflect God's nature rather than assigning an arbitrary will to Divine Providence.

Rommen's book is clear that the two views re God's nature as opposed to God's arbitrary will are important in understanding the temptation to impose unbridled power of rulers which can lead to tyranny and evil. St. Thomas Aquinas' views are a prominent feature of the book. Rommen reminds readers that people should try to maintain a moral code that reflects God's nature. Rommen also deals with the opposing view that Original Sin means that men are depraved and can do nothing right to please God. Rommen uses St. Thomas Aquinas and the later Scholastics to counter this view. Basically, Rommen argues that Original Sin did not mean that men were depraved. He argued that men were not the best they could be, and the Natural Law not only protected people from criminals, but it also provided a useful guide for men to act justly and fairly with other men all of whom were created in God's image.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eric M. Brown on November 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
D.S.Heersink makes a common error commited by modern sophists; and that is of presuppossing the truth of a premise on the basis of the erroneous human authority of previous modern sophists. In this case the previous modern sophists are the empiricists David Hume and G.E.Moore. This appeal to fallible human authority is not philosophy but ideology because philosophy proves its conclusions as opposed to presuming their truth based on fallible human authority. D.S presumes that Hume and Moore already decisively refuted the natural law theory(NLT). However, they have done nothing of the sort. Anyone educated in moral philosophy(ethics) as exposited by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas knows the principles of ethics present in theoretical philosophy, specifically the scientific theory of human nature and the Aristotelian science of metaphysics as exposited by Aquinas and Aristotle. Aquinas derives moral goodness from human nature in the natural moral law; see his Summa Contra Gentiles Book III:129. This is a little known text that proves the existence of the natural moral law, not from the eternal law of God as in the Summa Theologiae but from human nature itself. In my course paper as a graduate student in philosophy I wrote on this subject and how it relates to the so-called "naturalistic fallacy" arguments against the NLT. I discovered that G.E.Moore and his empiricists/illogical positivists allies are instead the ones who commit a fallacy. They commit the fallacy of equivocation between between a real distinction and a logical(conceptual) distinction. Their fact/value distinction is a reflection of the logical(conceptual) distinction between being and goodness in general; however there is no real distinction between being and goodness in general.Read more ›
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By Scott T. Stelljes on June 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Comprehensive discussion of the natural law and its philosophical foundations.
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0 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alaina Zachmann on September 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
The book came quickly and in excellent condition. I havent used it for class yet.
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3 of 32 people found the following review helpful By D. S. Heersink on December 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Natural Law Theory (NLT) was widely discredited by David Hume in his Treatise on Human Nature (1740) and by G. E. Moore in his Principia Ethica (1903), both well before this book was published in Germany during the rise of Nazism. For historical assessments, several texts do a much better job in presenting the historical rise through Stoicism and finally its demise in the Age of Enlightenment. Today, only the Roman Catholic Church, and specifically its Moral Theology, embraces Thomistic Natural Law as its bogus basis for sexual prohibitions (contraception, abortion, homophilia). If a moral reason exists for these prohibitions, it is NOT from Natural Law Theory, it is NOT from the Moral Imperative of the Harm Principle, and it is NOT from Aristotlean Ethics. The Church and those who appeal to Natural Law Theory commit the Fact/Value Fallacy, and the notion that god built a moral system on a fallacy should put this nonsense to rest.

The best defense of NLT is Robert George, whose apologetics are elegant as they are dogmatic.
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