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Vol 25 No 2 Feb/March 2020

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Natural Law and the Nature of Law

ISBN13: 9781108498302
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £75.00

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This book provides the first systematic, book-length defence of natural law ideas in ethics, politics and jurisprudence since John Finnis's influential Natural Law and Natural Rights. Incorporating insights from recent work in ethical, legal and social theory, it presents a robust and original account of the natural law tradition, challenging common perceptions of natural law as a set of timeless standards imposed on humans from above. Natural law, Jonathan Crowe argues, is objective and normative, but nonetheless historically extended, socially embodied and dependent on contingent facts about human nature. It reflects the ongoing human quest to work out how best to live flourishing lives, given the natures we have and the social environments we inhabit. The nature and purpose of law can only be adequately understood within this wider context of value. Timely, wide-ranging and clearly written, this volume will appeal to those working in law, philosophy and religious studies.

  • Provides a new and fully up-to-date picture of the natural law tradition that takes account of recent work in ethical, legal and social theory
  • Integrates political philosophy, ethics and jurisprudence, offering a single reference point for scholars and students
  • Challenges common understandings of natural law as a set of timeless, unchanging principles imposed on humans from above

Part I. Normative Foundations:
1. Normative inclinations
2. Theorising human goods
3. Acting for reasons
4. The common good
5. Rights and freedoms
6. The role of the state

Part II. The Nature Law:
7. The natural law thesis
8. Law as an artifact kind
9. The function of law
10. Law without authority
11. Contextual interpretation
12. The value of integrity