Designing the 'Law':On Textolatry in Natural Law and Natural Rights (1980)
28 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2014 Last revised: 17 Oct 2014
Date Written: September 9, 2014
In this paper I try to make the case that the practice of photography can be employed to overcome, to borrow Vilem Flusser, a kind of weak textolatry inherent in legal texts, such as in Natural Law and Natural Rights (1980) by John Finnis. By putting the photographer-theorist back into the world of sense and by “presence-ing” him, the practice of photography can re-situate him ontologically and semiotically into that life-world of practical thinking in which the natural law shows. It is this grasp of the natural law that is the methodological center-piece in the Design of the law in the philosophy of law, without which Natural Law and Natural Rights (1980) and the new natural law tradition with it appears theoretically vacuous.
Keywords: natural law, photography, aquinas, John Finnis
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