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The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy 60482nd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0865971615
ISBN-10: 0865971617
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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund; 60482nd edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865971617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865971615
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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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Format: Unknown Binding
Outstanding read on Natural Law that anticipates the loss of a solid rational for law in a post-modern world. As a teacher of Renaissance history and the Enlightenment, I found this work very helpful. The perspective of a European author that fled Nazi Germany actually is quite refreshing. If you are a student of the history of Natural Law this book is invaluable.
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