NATURAL LAW THEORY

Maria Josefina R. Alfonso (1-I) Eunika Raiza V. Fernando (1-G) Angela Paminter (1-I)

 Defined

as the divine inspiration in man of the sense of justice, fairness and righteousness, not by divine revelation or formal promulgation, but by internal dictates of reason alone (De Leon, 2008).  It refers to a type of moral theory, and of legal theory, but the core claims of the two kinds of theory are logically independent (Himma, 2008).  Natural law is ever present and binding on all men everywhere and at all times. There is in every man a basic understanding of right and wrong based on the fundamental standard or criterion of good and evil.

Concepts and Precepts Behind the
The precepts of natural law are righteousness, justice, equity and fairness. Precepts are similar to a writ. It is a rule or conduct imposing a particular standard of action or conduct  They have been put to use in the legal order in order to justify, oppose, regulate, or interpret human acts and conduct.  They are considered as continuing, protective principles that hold for every human society notwithstanding differences in culture, dissimilar levels of intelligence and varying ethical conception of expressing them outwardly (Pascual, 1983).

Concepts and Precepts Behind the Natural Law
 Natural

law theory holds that law's “source-based character”—its dependence upon social facts such as legislation, custom or judicially established precedents — is a fundamental and primary element in leading contemporary texts of  Classic and “law's capacity to advance the common good, theory treat law rights, or to to secure human as morally natural law govern with integrity” (cf. Green 2003).  problematic, theories all understand law as a Natural law understanding it as a normally indispensable instrument ofevils of, on the one remedy against the great great good but one that anarchy becomes an instrument of other side side readily (lawlessness), and on the great evil unless its authorsof tyranny's characteristic forms tyranny. And one steadily and vigilantly make it good by co-optation of law as a their moral is the recognizing and fulfilling mask for fundamentally lawless decisions cloaked in the

Concepts and Precepts Behind the Natural Law
 What

does the mainstream of natural law theory intend by using the word “natural” in that name for the theory?  The shortest accurate answer is “of reason,” as in “the law of reason” or “the requirements of  reason.” Aquinas is particularly clear and explicit A methodological axiom: X's nature is understood predicated of  that understanding X's “natural” and “rational” by in this context, of capacities, which are Thus, in this context, “natural” is only when and something (say, a law, or a virtue) understood by understanding their actuations, and its that of which no is predicated is in line because cognates is it mere confusion, but which arein understood byreason, or practical with reason, sophisticated understanding their grounded a practical distinction between reason's requirements. objects. But the objects of chosen acts are the ontology and epistemology: in the order of intelligible intrinsic and reasonable for us is a being, what is good goods (aspects of human flourishing) which weis foundational, by practical resultant of what are directed to our given nature (Green, 2003).

Two Kinds of Natural Law Theory
 Theory

of morality FIRST: law theory of law SECOND: The core of natural what is sometimes the  NaturalMoral propositions havelaw moral theory iscalled objective standing in the sense that such propositions are
claim that standards of morality are in some sense derived the Thereentailed objective nature of the virtue is, of the Some is of are the truth-value; world and moral from,bearers no clean division between the notion their or norms by, authoritative in that of law propositions can be objectivelyThough no convention moral and the notion even when there Aquinas, are different moral content, of morality. true or false. Though that nature of human beings. St. Thomas is there for example, objectivism natural law theory, all subscribemoral realism is sometimes equated with to versionsmoral rationala nature of human beingsthe thesis identifies of the merit as The makes 1992), the relationship between the two theories is criterion of legal validity. that (Moore, that defines moral law: "the lawsand measure for their are at least that depend which there the conceptssome ruleand morality of human idea that of law intersect controversial. "authority" reason, which pre-existing principleconvention, not on some is the first human of human acts is the in some the logical relationship in Thesis.they stand to but on way is called the Overlap which

Two Kinds of Natural Law Theory
 One

could accept a natural law theory of law without holding a natural law theory of morality.  One could hold that the conceptual point of law is, in part, to reproduce the demands of morality, but also hold a form of ethical subjectivism (or relativism).  For this reason, natural law theory of law is logically independent of natural law theory of morality.

Conceptual Naturalism
The Project of Conceptual Jurisprudence
 Its

principal objective has traditionally been to provide an account of what distinguishes law as a system of norms from other systems of norms, such as ethical norms. Conceptual jurisprudence seeks task of conceptual jurisprudence is to  The "the essence or nature which is common to all clarify thatrole of of To laws the are properly soanalysis in(Austin 1995, provide a set conceptual called" law, Brian Bix necessary and sufficient 11). distinguishes a number of different purposes that (1995) conditions for the existence of law that can be served by conceptual claims: distinguishes law from non-law in every possible (1) world.to track linguistic usage;
(2) to stipulate meanings; (3) to explain what is important or essential about a class of objects; and (4) to establish an evaluative test for the concept-

CONCEPTUAL NATURALISM
THE PROJECT OF CONCEPTUAL JURISPRUDENCE
 Conceptual

analysis of law remains an important, if controversial, project in contemporary legal theory.  Conceptual theories of law have traditionally been characterized in terms of their posture towards the Overlap Thesis.  Thus, conceptual theories of law have traditionally been divided into two main categories:
 those

like natural law legal theory that affirm there is a conceptual relation between law; and  morality and those like legal positivism that deny such a relation.

Conceptual Naturalism
Classical Natural Law Theory  All forms of natural law theory subscribe to the Overlap Thesis, which asserts that there is some kind of non-conventional relation between law and morality. According to this view, then, the  The natural law is comprised of those precepts of notion of law cannot be fully articulated without the reference to that notions. some eternal law moral govern the behavior of  beingsit is worth reason and free will. The first Here possessing noting that Aquinas holds a precept lawthe naturalmorality: what is good and natural of theory of law, according to Aquinas, is theaccording to Aquinas, is derived fromgood evil, somewhat vacuous imperative to do the and avoid evil. of human beings. Good and evil rational nature are thus both objective and universal.

Conceptual Naturalism
Classical Natural Law Theory
 St.

Thomas Aquinas: a human law (that which is promulgated by human beings) is valid only insofar as its content conforms to the content of the natural law: paraphrase nature. But if in famous remark, an derived from the law of Augustine's any point it deflects from the law of nature, it is no longer a no law perversion of law" (ST I-II, unjust law is really law but a at all.
Q.95, A.II). "[E]very human law has just so much of the nature of law as is

 To

Conceptual Naturalism
Classical Natural Law Theory
A

norm that does not conform to the natural law cannot be legally valid  As William Blackstone describes the thesis:
"This law nature, being co-equal with mankind and  Blackstoneofarticulates the two claims that dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to constitute the theoretical core of conceptual any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and naturalism: 1) there can any no legally valid at all times: no human laws are of be validity, if contrary to standards of them as are valid derive all their force, and this; and such that conflict with the natural law; and 2) all valid laws derive what force this all their authority, mediately or immediately, fromand authority they original" (1979, 41). have from the natural law.

Conceptual Naturalism
Classical Natural Law Theory
It should be noted that classical naturalism is consistent with allowing a substantial role to human beings in the manufacture of law.  While the classical naturalist seems committed to the claim that the law necessarily incorporates all moral principles, this claim does not imply that the law is exhausted by the set of moral principles. There will still be coordination problems (e.g., which side of the road to drive on) that can be resolved in any number of ways consistent with the set of moral principles.  Thus, the classical naturalist does not deny that human beings have considerable discretion in creating natural law.

Conceptual Naturalism
Classical Natural Law Theory
Another frequently expressed worry is that conceptual naturalism undermines the possibility of moral criticism of the law; inasmuch as conformity with natural law is a necessary condition for legal validity, all valid law is, by definition, morally just. Thus, on this line of reasoning, the legal validity of a norm necessarily entails its moral justice.  Given that the norm being enforced by law is unjust, it follows, according to conceptual naturalism, that it is not legally valid. Thus, the state commits wrong by enforcing that norm against private citizens.  The project motivating conceptual jurisprudence, then, is to articulate the concept of law in a way that accounts for these pre-existing social practices.

Conceptual Naturalism
Classical Natural Law Theory (A different perspective)  Bix rejects the interpretation of Aquinas and Blackstone as conceptual naturalists, arguing instead that the claim that an unjust law is not a law should not be taken literally:  A more reasonable interpretation of statements like "an unjust law is no law at all" is that unjust laws are not laws "in the fullest sense."  Thus, to say that an unjust law is "not really law" may only be to point out that it does not carry the same moral force or offer the same reasons for action as laws consistent with "higher law" (Bix 1996, 226).

Philosophers in the History of Natural Law  
 Heraclitus:

nature.

Natural Law and the law of

 Originated

from Ancient Greece  Referred as the rational harmony and order of divergent things and events.  It is unwritten law pervading and ruling the whole of nature without which the cosmos would be plunged into chaos.  The beginning of the concept of natural law was originally intertwined with the notion of the law of nature.

Philosophers in the History of Natural Law
 Plato
 The

and Aristotle: A discipline to which human conduct must conform to.
first philosophical foundation to natural law, by regarding it as a higher law.  “Ought” is the only perfect or natural reality and that the “Is” represents merely the imperfect application of the “Ought”.  Natural justice, that which is absolute and universal, and legal justice, that which is indifferent and relative  First thinkers to regard the natural law as a discipline

Philosophers in the History of Natural Law

Stoics: “Live consistently with nature”.

Human conduct and activity must be brought in agreement with order and stability, that is to say, with the natural law.
Greek Stoic philosopher

Epictetus: Natural law as the moral nature of man.

He developed his idea on the basis of materialism. He attached the concept of natural law to the moral nature of man, thereby becoming man’s participation in the divine law.  He believed real good is innate in humans, but the only thing to be feared, is the false and selfish traits of one’s being that tend to frustrate or retard the fulfillment of the natural.
 

Philosophers in the History of Natural Law
 St.

Paul: Conscience and Natural Law

 He

was an apostle and a theologian.  The conscience endorses the existence of such law, for there is something which condemns or commends their actions.  It was his assessment of the enlightened sense of right and wrong that cleared the Stoic doctrine of its impersonal abstractions and gave it the conception as a personal discipline.

Philosophers in the History of Natural Law
 St.

Augustine: Natural Good Faith  Natural good faith is present in all men, not excluding the perverted and depraved, and without regard to race, creed and station in life.
He

concludes that no man can really plead ignorance of the natural law because his natural good faith is never silenced.

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