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Vol 22 No 11 Nov/Dec 2017

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Disintegration of Natural Law Theory

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Pauline C. WestermanAssistant Professor of Philosophy of Law, University of Groningen, Netherlands

ISBN13: 9789004109995
ISBN: 9004109994
Published: July 1999
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
Format: Hardback
Price: £114.00

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Finnis's proposal to rehabilitate Aquinas's natural law theory as an appropriate foundation of legal and moral theory rests on the assumption that Aquinas's theory can be restored by eliminating the mistaken interpretations of subsequent natural law theorists. This work challenges that assumption.;After a brief analysis of Aquinas, the theories of Suarez, Grotius and Pufendorf are investigated. It is argued that their theories are no ""mistakes"", but attempts at solving problems inherent in natural law theory. Finally, it is argued that Finnis, running into the same problems, cannot hope to restore Aquinas's theoretical edifice.

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