What does natural law teach? There are many ways to summarize the answer. In his detailed discussion of the matter, Girolamo Zanchi states: The most important things that the law teaches and commands, however, are that all should get what they deserve and serve whom they should serve, both God and human beings. (2) A little […]
Category: Natural Law
The philosophy of objective moral existence external to the individual mind
Romans 2:14–15 is one of the most important of biblical texts that bear on the idea of “natural law.” I’d like over time to compile a sort of catena of Western exegesis of this passage (admittedly, the surrounding verses are important too, but I’m trying to keep it manageable). I will try to go in chronological […]
David Bentley Hart has responded somewhat coyly to Dr Feser here. Dr Feser had pointed out the peculiarly Humean tone of Hart’s remarks about natural law, which suggested that there is no bridge from the is to the ought; of course Hart is not actually a Humean, but more a Romantic, which means, one who allows […]
The recent natural law confabulation has been a lot of fun and very refreshing. There’s so much to be gained from the recovery of natural law, but we need to point out one other very important concept: the jus gentium. This concept, perhaps better known as the “common law of nations,” was important to both […]
We watched with interest the recent controversy in the pages of First Things on natural law, knowing that sooner or later the spry Dr Feser would say the right thing and settle the matter. When he did, we said he had said the right thing, and in doing so said that certain First Things contributors struck us as “thoroughgoing modernists” on the topic of natural law, which was in effect a synonymous reiteration of Dr Feser’s own point. At this Anna Williams took genial umbrage; she declared war.
Dr Leithart has kindly responded to my post (which can be found here) on the use of natural law in the same-sex marriage debate. The following comments outline my position on natural law in a little more detail and describe some of the concerns that I have with his position.
In a recent post, Peter Leithart reflects upon the debate between Douglas Wilson and Andrew Sullivan on same-sex marriage. Observing the increasing inability of Christian arguments to gain purchase upon the public’s imagination, he wonders how arguments against same-sex marriage might become persuasive again. His conclusion is far from sanguine: without a recovery of Christian imagination, […]
Edward Feser administers a much needed corrective on the subject of natural philosophy and natural law in this response to David Bentley Hart. Before Dr. Feser’s article, the original piece from Dr. Hart was mostly applauded by other noteworthy names like Rod Dreher, Alan Jacobs, and Peter Leithart. We will not reproduce all of Dr. […]