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date: 28 September 2023

p. 202. Natural law and moralitylocked

p. 202. Natural law and moralitylocked

  • Raymond WacksRaymond WacksEmeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory


This chapter discusses the relationship between the ancient classical theory of natural law and its application to contemporary moral questions. It considers the role of natural law in political philosophy, the decline of the theory of natural law, and its revival in the twentieth century. The principal focus is on John Finnis’s natural law theory based largely on the works of St Thomas Aquinas. The chapter posits a distinction between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ natural law, examines the notion of moral realism, and examines the tension between law and morality; and the subject of the moral dilemmas facing judges in unjust societies.

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