Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-vi

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

I am in debt to the many people who supported the research and writing of this book, although of course I alone am responsible for its contents. This book is the first product of a research project concerning the relation between the historical development of the idea of natural law and the magisterium of the church. The Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII in Bologna has supported this research since 2012. Alberto Melloni, director of the Fondazione, took special interest in my research, offering invaluable suggestions and comments. I would like to express my deep gratitude for his support and his trust in my work. At the Fondazione my interest in natural law was shared by Cinzia Sulas, who always offered keen observations during our discussions. I am grateful to her for this exchange of ideas and for her kindness....

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xiv

“Io, che son la più trista, / son suora a la tua madre, e son Drittura, / povera, vedi, a fama e a cintura” (For I, in sorrow first, / Am Justice, and my sister gave you birth— / Though as you see, my clothes are of small worth).1 In these verses, Dante Alighieri offers an allegorical presentation of Justice and uses the image of three women to characterize three kinds of justice, namely, what medieval authors called natural law, or “drittura” (ius naturale), law of nations (ius gentium), and civil law (ius civile). According to Dante, these kinds of ius are deeply connected as ius naturale is the mother of ius gentium and the grandmother of ius civile.2...

read more

Introduction: Questions and Research

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-12

One of the main questions in the study of natural rights and natural law is when these concepts first came into use in the modern period. Originally ius naturale was synonymous with lex naturalis, an objective rule or prescription. At a particular point in time, ius naturale began to refer also, or more strictly, to a specific right belonging to each human being. The distinction between lex as objective rule and ius as subjective right marks the beginning of a new language and is a basic feature of modern rights theories. The history of these concepts involves not only the discovery of a crucial...

read more

Chapter 1. Objectivity versus Subjectivity

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 13-21

In the past sixty years historians started from either the premise of objectivity or that of subjectivity to debate the relation between modern theories of human rights and medieval accounts of ius naturale and lex naturalis. For authors such as Michel Villey, modern theories of human rights have their roots in the crisis of the Christian late medieval philosophical order. 1 Against an idea of human rights that he considered the product of juridical subjectivism and legal positivism, Villey supported a return to the tradition that combines Aristotle, Aquinas, and the Roman jurists.2 In contrast,...

read more

Chapter 2. The Foundation of Political and Moral Order

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 22-34

Since the 1950s scholars have focused on the features of the philosophy of law in the late Middle Ages, especially the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in order to verify the existence of a break in the evolution of the notion of ius naturale that Villey had insisted on. Francis Oakley, Richard Tuck, and John Finnis have debated Villey’s interpretation of the rise of modern natural rights theory from different methodological and scientific points of view. From their studies and analysis come some reconsiderations of the history of ideas in medieval western Europe as well as new perspectives on the evolution of the idea of natural rights....

read more

Chapter 3. The Long Road to a Common Lexicon

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 35-43

Since 2000 a number of scholars have addressed the topics of natural law and natural rights by examining the role of John Locke’s doctrines in the development of modern rights theory. One of the main debated points concerns the relations between Locke’s account of natural rights and its sources. The controversy is part of a more general debate about the origin of modern natural rights theory: Is Locke the father of what later became the doctrine of human rights? Or is he just the last heir of a tradition that goes back to the late Middle Ages that he reelaborated with respect to his own time? These questions mainly constitute the basis for Brian Tierney’s recent studies of Locke, studies that have provoked various reactions.1...

read more

Chapter 4. Breaks, Continuities, and Shifts

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 44-56

Tierney’s historical interpretation of the origin of natural rights has given rise to a series of critiques and debates since the 1990s. His Idea of Natural Rights especially provoked various reactions: from the harsh and polemical review by Cary Nederman to Charles Reid’s careful and accurate presentation of the novelty of Tierney’s work.1 Scholars have debated Tierney’s proposition that natural rights theory originated in the work of the twelfth-century canonists and that most of the development of the idea of ius naturale occurred between 1150 and 1650. The debate concerning the various meanings of ius naturale and lex naturalis during the Middle Ages...

read more

Chapter 5. Highlights and Shadows of a Portrait

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 57-75

Having considered the most significant scientific studies on the origins of modern natural rights doctrine produced since the 1950s, it is possible to summarize their conclusions. Authors like Villey, Tuck, Oakley, and Tierney certainly share an interest in the medieval origins of modern natural rights doctrines and consider the writings of late medieval canonists and theologians either as the background for understanding modern developments or as a break with the objective idea of ius naturae or as a long and complex shift. The interpretations that Villey and Tierney develop rest on the basic assumption that a cornerstone of modern political as well as ethical thought has its roots in the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of Europe between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries.1...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 76-80

The studies analyzed above take distinctive points of view or are based on distinctive cultural premises, for example, the basic link between the rise and development of the discourse about ius naturale and the history of the church and its institutions. This would suggest an underestimation of the crucial contribution of civil lawyers and Roman legal heritage and of the philosophical culture that arose in the eleventh and twelfth centuries....

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 81-130

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 131-148

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 149-156