Clarifying the Natural Law Thesis
Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy, Vol. 37, pp. 159-181, 2012
23 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 20, 2012
The core claims of natural law jurisprudence have been expressed in many different ways. One useful way of understanding the tradition, however, is through reference to what Mark Murphy has called the natural law thesis: law is necessarily a rational standard for conduct. This article seeks to clarify the natural law thesis by distinguishing several different versions that appear in the philosophical literature. It then identifies three possible routes to the thesis and considers which versions of the claim they are best understood as targeting.
Keywords: Natural law, conceptual analysis, invalidity, defectiveness, Finnis, Alexy, Murphy, Fuller, Moore
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