This book proposes a rather novel legal-philosophical approach to understanding the intersection between law and morality. It does so by analyzing the conditions for the existence of a juridical domain of natural law from the perspective of the tradition of Thomistic juridical realism. In order to highlight the need to reconnect with this tradition in the context of contemporary legal philosophy, the book presents various other recent jurisprudential positions regarding the overlap between law and morality. While most authors either exclude a conceptual necessity for the inclusion of moral principles in the nature of law or refer to the purely moral status of natural law at the foundations of the legal phenomenon, the book seeks to elucidate the essential properties of the juridical status of natural law. In order to establish the juridicity of natural law, the book explores the relevant arguments of Thomas Aquinas and some of his main commentators on this issue, above all Michel Villey and Javier Hervada. It establishes that Thomistic juridical realism observes the juridical phenomenon not only from the perspective of legal norms or subjective individual rights, but also from the perspective of the primary meaning of the concept of right (ius), namely, the just thing itself as the object of justice. In this perspective, natural rights already possess a fully juridical status and can be described as natural juridical goods. In addition, from the viewpoint of Thomistic juridical realism, we can identify certain natural norms or principles of justice as the juridical title of these rights or goods. The book includes an assessment of the prospective points of dialogue with the other trends in Thomistic legal philosophy as well as with various accounts of the nature of law in contemporary legal theory.
This thought-provoking book develops and elaborates on the artifact theory of law, covering a wide range of related theoretical and practical topics. Featuring international contributions from both noted and up-and-coming scholars in law and philosophy, it offers a range of perspectives that flesh out the artifact theory of law, it also introduces criticisms of previous formulations of the theory and inquires into its potential payoffs.
Between the Levite at the gate and the judicial systems of our day is a long journey in courthouse government, but its basic structure remains the same - law, judge and process. Of the three, process is the most unstable - procedure and facts. Of the two, facts are the most intractable. While most of the law in books may seem to center about abstract theories, doctrines, princi ples, and rules, the truth is that most of it is designed in some way to escape the painful examination of the facts which bring parties in a particular case to court. Frequently the emphasis is on the rule of law as it is with respect to the negotiable instru ment which forbids inquiry behind its face; sometimes the empha sis is on men as in the case of the wide discretion given a judge or administrator; sometimes on the process, as in pleading to a refined issue, summary judgment, pre-trial conference, or jury trial designed to impose the dirty work of fact finding on laymen. The minds of the men of law never cease to labor at im proving process in the hope that some less painful, more trustworthy and if possible automatic method can be found to lay open or force litigants to disclose what lies inside their quarrel, so that law can be administered with dispatch and de cisiveness in the hope that truth and justice will be served.
THE CONSCIENCE OF JUDGES AND APPLICA nON OF LEGAL RULES The book is devoted to the problem of the influence of moral judgements on the result of judicial decision-making in the process of application of the established (positive) law. It is the conscience of judges that takes the central place in the research. Conscience is understood in the meaning developed in the theory of Thomas Aquinas as the complex capacity of the human being to make moral judgements which represent acts of reason on the question of what is right or wrong in a particular situation. The reason why we need a theory of conscience in making judicial decisions lies in the nature of the positive law itself. On the one hand, there is an intrinsic conflict between the law as the body of rigid rules and the law as an living experience of those who are involved in social relationships. This conflict particularly finds its expression in the collision of strict justice and equity. The idea of equity does not reject the importance of rules in legal life. What is rejected is an idolatrous attitude to the rules when the uniqueness of a human being, his well being and happiness are disregarded and sacrificed in order to fulfil the observance of the rules. The rules themselves are neither good or bad. What makes them good or bad is their application.
Modern moral and political philosophy is in debt with natural law theory, both in its ancient and mediaeval elaborations. While the very notion of a natural law has proved highly controversial among 20th Century scholars, the last decades have witnessed a renewed interest in it. Indeed, the threats and challenges as result of multiculturalism, plural societies and global changes have generated a renewed attention to natural law theory. Clearly, it offers solid basis as possible framework to a better understanding of human goods without contradictions and partial bias. The purpose of the present volume is to provide an overview of the history of this concept (Cicero, St. Paul, Aquinas, Melanchthon, Montaigne, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Burke, Kant, MacIntyre, etc.) as well as a deep understanding of ongoing research, both in Europe and in America. Furthermore, the specificity of these studies will be of particular value to philosophers, law-philosophers, historians, anthropologists, sociologists and theologians, and those concerned on such issues as the relation between law and moral norm, law and practical reason, and the presence of the idea of natural law in several prominent thinkers. It includes a selected bibliography on natural law. The book also provides an excellent introduction to several of the major topics in natural law theory making it useful both as a reference text and as a sourcebook for academics alike. "Natural law is a rich, complex, and highly disputed term. Since its first appearances in the history of Western civilization, it has been used both to point to God as the source of the moral order and to assert that there is an objective order of justice in nature that men and their laws ought to respect. In modern times, natural law theory gave birth to what we usually call “human rights.” Unlike the meaning of the term, the importance of an ongoing debate on natural law and on the theories related to it is undisputable. This is why I welcome today this new collection of essays edited by Alejandro Néstor García Martínez, Mario Šilar and José M. Torralba. Natural Law: Historical, Systematic and Juridical Approaches includes a wide variety of studies, covering key authors and issues in natural law theory. Younger students will appreciate the clarity of the chapters, and more trained readers the detailed and accurate bibliographical references that each of them offers. The editors’s choice to go from a historical approach to contemporary theories, and then to theoretical and more practical issues is also commendable. Students in philosophy and in legal theory will greatly benefit from this book." —Fulvio Di Blasi, author of God and the Natural Law: A Rereading of Thomas Aquinas
This book explains how the debate over originalism emerged from the interaction of constitutional theory, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and American political development. Refuting the contention that originalism is a recent concoction of political conservatives like Robert Bork, Johnathan O'Neill asserts that recent appeals to the origin of the Constitution in Supreme Court decisions and commentary, especially by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, continue an established pattern in American history. Originalism in American Law and Politics is distinguished by its historical approach to the topic. Drawing on constitutional commentary and treatises, Supreme Court and lower federal court opinions, congressional hearings, and scholarly monographs, O'Neill's work will be valuable to historians, academic lawyers, and political scientists.
The present volume, the first in the new Catholic Moral Thought series, responds to the need for a new introduction to the basic and central elements of Catholic moral theology written in the light of Veritatis splendor.
Does the Law exist? and if so, what is it? Can we know it? This book tries to answer these questions by approaching as a whole the problem of Law, its justification and demonstration. Because when facing multiple legal theories, many of which are contradictory, we have to ask ourselves what the true Law is, if it exists indeed, its origin, meaning and perspective. We are in pursuit of something more: the Law and its truth. This fundamental question must be scientifically solved, and in such an in-depth approach that only philosophy, traditionally understood as "knowledge by its first and principle causes, obtained under the natural light of reason," can give us the answer. the current thesis takes up the problem of knowledge and its theories of being and truth, to later contrast them with various juridical currents. Two different paths, processes and objects to reach the same conclusion. the result wasn't easy, but we believe we contributed with a juridical theory with seven rules of truthfulness, that from our humble point of view, solves the conflict over Law, its essence and properties. What is Right? What is Law? Does a juridical science exist? Does a true theory of Law exist or does each one of us have their own truth? These were the central questions we tried to answer in the current thesis; to demonstrate through reason the considerations raised here and to somehow contribute in a positive way to the growing relativism of this subject.
Presents an innovative, constructive alternative to Christian involvement in the "culture wars" Church leaders and scholars have long wrestled with what should provide a guiding vision for Christian engagement in culture and politics. In this book Thomas Bushlack argues that a retrieval of Thomas Aquinas's understanding of civic virtue provides important resources for guiding this engagement today. Bushlack suggests that Aquinas's vision of the pilgrim church provides a fitting model for seeking the earthly common good of the political community, and he notes the features of a Thomistic account of justice and civic virtue that remain particularly salient for the twenty-first century. The book concludes with suggestions for cultivating a Christian rhetoric of the common good as an alternative to the predominant forms of discourse fostered within the culture wars that have been so divisive.
Is following Jesus natural? Many would say no, but this book argues yes. Saying no suggests that grace and human nature are alternate moral categories. Saying yes implies that our humanity is gracious in origin, capacity, and intent. Much of this discussion hangs on what is meant by "nature" and "natural," and this book explores these ideas creationly and christologically. Part One considers natural law as commonly found in the classical Christian tradition. Part Two explores the radical christological tradition of Anabaptism. Part Three then proposes the two-nature christology of the Chalcedonian definition as a theological resource enabling their reconciliation. The Chalcedonianism of the modern Barth and the ancient Maximus the Confessor are appropriated, along with scientific theology of T. F. Torrance and Nancey Murphy. If Chalcedon correctly affirms Jesus's humanity as being homoousios (one nature) with our humanity, created like Adam's through the eternal Spirit, then Jesus's life was natural--proper to its created intent. And as his divine nature was homoousios with the Father's nature, he is the human expression of the divine Word which gives creation its contingent moral rationality. As such, the life of Jesus (Anabaptists' concern) is morally normative for all humanity (natural law's concern).
This volume collects some of the best recent writings on St. Thomas?s philosophy of law and includes a critical examination of Aquinas?s theory of the relation between law and morality, his natural law theory, as well as the modern reformulation of his approach to natural rights. The volume shows how Aquinas understood the importance of positive law and demonstrates the modern relevance of his writings by including Thomistic critiques of modern jurisprudence and examples of applications of Thomistic jurisprudence to specific modern legal problems such as federalism, environmental policy, abortion and euthanasia. The volume also features an introduction which places Aquinas?s writings in the context of modern jurisprudence as well as an extensive bibliography. The volume is suited to the needs of jurisprudence scholars, teachers and students and is an essential resource for all law libraries.