Natural Law: Practical Reason and Creative Information

21 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2019

See all articles by John Finnis

John Finnis

Notre Dame Law School; University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 6, 2019


This paper was written for and delivered at a conference on Natural Law, Human Rights and Chinese Traditional Culture, held in Beijing by the Law School and the Institute for Human Rights of the China University of Political Science and Law, on 26-27 October 2019. Leaving unstated its probably many connections with Chinese traditional cultures, it seeks to articulate some main theses of the tradition that, owing as much (if not more) to Hebrew prophets as to Greek philosophers, is foundational for a critical appropriation and defence of authentic human rights. Leaving many important human rights unstated, it tries to identify the rational foundations for them all, in nine theses.

Keywords: natural law, human rights

Suggested Citation

Finnis, John M., Natural Law: Practical Reason and Creative Information (November 6, 2019). Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 191106, 2019, Available at SSRN: or

John M. Finnis (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

University College
High Street
Oxford, England OX1 4BH
United Kingdom

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