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Institutes of Divine Jurisprudence, with Selections from Foundations of the Law of Nature and Nations

Christian Thomasius

Christian Thomasius’s natural jurisprudence is essential to understanding the origins of the Enlightenment in Germany, where his importance was comparable to that of John Locke’s in England.

First published in 1688, Thomasius’s Institutionum jurisprudentiae divinae (Institutes of Divine Jurisprudence) attempted to draw a clear distinction between natural and revealed law and to emphasize that human reason was able to know the precepts of natural law without the aid of Scripture. Thomasius also argued that his orthodox Lutheran opponents had failed to understand this distinction and thereby had confused reason and Scripture.

In addition to the Institutes of Divine Jurisprudence, this volume contains significant selections from his Fundamenta juris naturae et gentium (Foundations of the Law of Nature and Nations), published in 1705. In Foundations Thomasius significantly revised the theory he had put forward in the Institutes, and much of the Foundations therefore is a paragraph-by-paragraph commentary on his earlier ideas.

These works are a companion to Thomasius’s Essays on Church, State, and Politics, and together they provide the first-ever English presentation of this preeminent German thinker.

Christian Thomasius (1655–1728) was a German philosopher and legal theorist. He was a cofounder of the University of Halle, where he was also a professor.

Thomas Ahnert is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Edinburgh.

Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

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The Law of Nations

Emer de Vattel

The great eighteenth-century theorist of international law Emer de Vattel (1714–1767) was a key figure in sustaining the practical and theoretical influence of natural jurisprudence through the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras. Coming toward the end of the period when the discourse of natural law was dominant in European political theory, Vattel’s contribution is cited as a major source of contemporary wisdom on questions of international law in the American Revolution and even by opponents of revolution, such as Cardinal Consalvi, at the Congress of Vienna of 1815.

Vattel broadly accepted the early-modern natural law theorists from Grotius onward but placed himself in the tradition of Leibniz and Christian Wolff. This becomes particularly clear in two valuable early essays that have never before been translated and are included in the present volume. On this philosophical basis he established what the proper relationship should be between natural law as it is applied to individuals and natural law as it is applied to states.

The significance of The Law of Nations resides in its distillation from natural law of an apt model for international conduct of state affairs that carried conviction in both the Old Regime and the new political order of 1789–1815.

The Liberty Fund edition is based on the anonymous English translation of 1797, which includes Vattel’s notes for the second French edition (posthumous, 1773).

Emer de Vattel (1714–1767) was a Swiss philosopher and jurist in the service of Saxony.

Béla Kapossy is Professeur Suppléant of History at the University of Lausanne.

Richard Whatmore is a Reader in Intellectual History at the University of Sussex.

Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

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Logic, Metaphysics, and the Natural Sociability of Mankind

Francis Hutcheson

Until the publication of this Liberty Fund edition, all but one of the works contained in Logic, Metaphysics, and the Natural Sociability ofMankind were available only in Latin. This milestone English translation will provide a general audience with insight into Hutcheson’s thought.In the words of the editors: “Hutcheson’s Latin texts in logic (Logicae Compendium) and metaphysics (Synopsis Metaphysicae) form an important part of his collected works. Published respectively in 1756 and, in its second edition, 1744, these works represent Hutcheson’s only systematic treatments of logic, ontology, and pneumatology, or the science of the soul. They were considered indispensable texts for the instruction of students in the eighteenth century. Any serious study of Hutcheson’s moral and political philosophy must take into account his understanding of logic (of ideas, judgments, propositions, and reasoning) and metaphysics (of existence, individuation, causation,substance, the soul, and the attributes of God).”The introduction and notes to this translation situate the texts in the context of Hutcheson’s mature philosophy and relate it to his teaching at Glasgow from 1730 until his death in 1746. At the same time, the editors show the links to his early teaching in Dublin in the 1720s. The work on natural sociability was Hutcheson’s significant inaugural lecture at Glasgow..James Moore is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Concordia University in Montreal.Michael Silverthorne is Honorary University Fellow in the School of Classics at the University of Exeter.Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

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The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Francis Hutcheson

This 1742 translation is a collaborative work by Francis Hutcheson and a colleague at Glasgow University, the classicist James Moor. Although Hutcheson was secretive about the extent of his work on the book, he was clearly the leading spirit of the project. This influential classical work offered a vision of a universe governed by a natural law that obliges us to love mankind and to govern our lives in accordance with the natural order of things. In their account of the life of the emperor, prefaced to their translation from the Greek, Hutcheson and Moor celebrated the Stoic ideal of an orderly universe governed by a benevolent God. They contrasted the serenity recommended and practiced by Marcus Aurelius with the divisive sectarianism then exhibited by their fellow Presbyterians in Scotland and elsewhere. They urged their readers and fellow citizens to set aside their narrow prejudices. In many ways, Hutcheson and Moor’s The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus is a companion volume to Hutcheson’s Latin work on ethics, released in the same year, Philosophiae Moralis Institutio Compendiaria. In the latter volume, which is also available from Liberty Fund, Hutcheson continues a theme that proffered his ethics as a modern and, not least, Christianized version of Stoicism. Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

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A Methodical System of Universal Law

Johann Gottlieb Heineccius

The natural law theory of Johann Gottlieb Heineccius was one of the most influential to emerge from the early German Enlightenment. Heineccius continued and, in important respects, modified the ideas of his predecessors, Samuel Pufendorf and Christian Thomasius. He developed distinctive views on central questions such as the freedom of the human will and the natural foundation of moral obligation, which also sharply distinguished him from his contemporary Christian Wolff.Heineccius’s work saw five Latin editions in thirty years as well as several French, Italian, and Spanish editions; and it had a long life in Latin America. The English edition presented by Liberty Fund is based on the translation by the Scottish moral philosopher George Turnbull (1698–1748). It includes Turnbull’s extensive comments on Heineccius’s text, as well as his substantial Discourse upon the Nature and Origin of Moral and Civil Laws. These elements make the work into one of the most extraordinary encounters between Protestant natural law theory and neo-republican civic humanism. Johann Gottlieb Heineccius (1681–1741) studied theology at Leipzig and later law at the newly founded (1694) University at Halle, where he became a pupil of Christian Thomasius.Thomas Ahnert is a Lecturer in History, at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.Peter Schröder is Senior Lecturer in the History Department at University College London.Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

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Natural Rights on the Threshold of the Scottish Enlightenment

Gershom Carmichael

An important figure in the natural law tradition and in the Scottish Enlightenment, Gershom Carmichael defended a strong theory of rights and drew attention to Grotius, Pufendorf, and Locke.Gershom Carmichael was a teacher and writer who played an important role in the Scottish Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. His philosophy focused on the natural rights of individuals—the natural right to defend oneself, to own the property on which one has labored, and to services contracted for with others. Carmichael argued that slavery is incompatible with the rights of men and citizens, and he believed that subjects have the right to resist rulers who exceed the limits of their powers.Although he appealed to the authority of Grotius and Locke, the grounds on which he defended natural rights were distinctively his own. He drew upon the Reformed or Presbyterian theology to propose that, in respecting the natural rights of individuals, one shows one’s reverence for God’s creation. Inasmuch as all of mankind longs for lasting happiness, which can be found only in worship of or reverence for God, such reverence is the natural law which obliges all to respect the rights of all.Natural Rights includes Supplements and Observations on Pufendorf (1724), Natural Theology (1729), Logic (1722), two theses, and a manuscript on teaching, all in English for the first time.Gershom Carmichael (1672–1729) was the first professor of moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow, preceding Hutcheson, Smith, and Reid. James Moore is Professor of Political Science at Concordia University in Montreal.Michael Silverthorne is Honorary University Fellow in the School of Classics at the University of Exeter.Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

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Observations upon Liberal Education

George Turnbull

Originally published in 1742 and presented here in its first modern edition, Observations upon Liberal Education is a significant contribution to the Scottish Enlightenment and the moral-sense school of Scottish philosophy. George Turnbull embodied these movements of ideas as much as his more famous contemporary Francis Hutcheson.

In Observations, Turnbull applied these ideas to the education of youth. He showed how a liberal education fosters true “inward liberty” and moral strength and thus prepares for responsible and happy lives in a free society. He drew upon an impressive number of authors, both ancient and modern, including John Locke. Indeed, there is probably no richer treasure trove of sources for the educational debates of the eighteenth century.

Terrence Moore, who wrote the introduction, notes that “Observations upon Liberal Education provides an extensive and illuminating treatment of education, sensitive to the means of inculcating the personal responsibility necessary for living in a free society.”

Turnbull was the mentor of Thomas Reid, but his influence was not confined to Scotland. Benjamin Franklin, in drafting his Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, drew generously from Observations.

George Turnbull (1698–1748) belongs to the founding figures in the Scottish Enlightenment. Finding their native Calvinism repressive, they sought a rational religion closely associated with their new science of human nature, supportive of tolerance, and compatible with classical ideals.

Terrence O. Moore, Jr., is Principal of Ridgeview Classical Schools in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

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Philosophiae Moralis Institutio Compendiaria

Francis Hutcheson

This Liberty Fund publication of Philosophiae Moralis Institutio Compendiaria is a parallel edition of the English and Latin versions of a book designed by Hutcheson for use in the classroom. General Editor Knud Haakonssen remarks that “Hutcheson’s Institutio was written as a textbook for university students and it therefore covers a curriculum which has an institutional background in his own university, Glasgow. This was a curriculum crucially influenced by Hutcheson’s predecessor Gershom Carmichael, and at its center was modern natural jurisprudence as systematized by Grotius, Pufendorf, and others. . . . The Institutio is the first major [published] attempt by Hutcheson to deal with natural law on his own terms. . . . It therefore encapsulates the axis of natural law and Scottish Enlightenment ideas, which so many other thinkers, including Adam Smith, worked with in their different ways. It is of great significance that this work issued from the class in which Smith sat as a student.” Editor Luigi Turco comments that “the aim of the text was twofold: on one hand, to put forward an optimistic view of God, human nature, and the harmony of the universe; on the other hand, to provide students with the knowledge of natural and civil law required by the university curriculum. Hutcheson starts from Pufendorf’s De officio hominis et civis (itself an abridgment of his De jure naturae et gentium)—the text that was most widely read within Protestant universities—but modifies its moral foundations.”Francis Hutcheson was a crucial link between the continental European natural law tradition and the emerging Scottish Enlightenment. Hence, he is a pivotal figure in the Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics series. A contemporary of Lord Kames and George Turnbull, an acquaintance of David Hume, and the teacher of Adam Smith, Hutcheson was arguably the leading figure in making Scotland distinctive within the general European Enlightenment.Luigi Turco is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bologna.Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

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A Philosophical Commentary on These Words of the Gospel

Pierre Bayle

The topics of church and state, religious toleration, the legal enforcement of religious practices, and religiously motivated violence on the part of individuals have once again become burning issues. Pierre Bayle’s Philosophical Commentary was a major attempt to deal with very similar problems three centuries ago. His argument is that if the orthodox have the right and duty to persecute, then every sect will persecute, since every sect considers itself orthodox. The result will be mutual slaughter, something God cannot have intended.The Philosophical Commentary takes its starting point from the words attributed to Jesus Christ in Luke 14:23, “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be full.” Bayle contends that the word compel cannot mean “force.” From this perspective, he constructs his doctrine of toleration based on the singular importance of conscience. His point is not that coercion usually is ineffective in matters of faith but that, even when effective, it is wrong because it ignores the indispensability of the free conscience.Bayle’s book was translated into English in 1708. The Liberty Fund edition reprints that translation, carefully checked against the French and corrected, with an introduction and annotations designed to make Bayle’s arguments accessible to the twenty-first-century reader. Pierre Bayle (1647–1706), Protestant philosopher and critic, was born in France. In 1675 he became professor of philosophy at Sedan until forced into exile in Rotterdam in 1681, where he published works on religion with a liberal and tolerant tendency. He was dismissed from his position at the Huguenot refugees academy in 1693 following the accusation that he was an agent of France and an enemy of Protestantism. In 1696 he completed his major work, the Dictionnaire historique et critique. John Kilcullen is a Senior Research Fellow in Humanities at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Chandran Kukathas is Chair in Political Theory atThe London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

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