The Natural Law Reader, eds. Jacqueline A. Laing & Russell Wilcox (Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2013).
“A treasure trove of excerpts, some revelatory, and all of them inspired choices. For those afflicted by caricatures of the natural law tradition, this book is the cure.”
–John Gardner, Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Oxford
“With their generous vision, Laing and Wilcox open up the idea of law in Western thought beyond today’s limits of analytical liberalism and positivism.”
–Anthony Carty, Sir Y K Pao Chair of Public Law, University of Hong Kong
The natural law tradition is an enduring one that has been at the very heart of Western ethical, political, and jurisprudential development. The Natural Law Reader is a wide-ranging and representative series of readings deriving from the classical natural law tradition, following its development and applications in the modern world. Drawing principally upon the metaphysical and ethical categories first put forth by Aristotle and championed by Aquinas and others, this set of readings takes us into metaphysics, jurisprudence, politics, and ethics, demonstrating the tradition’s historical continuity and contemporary relevance. While the first part of the book introduces the reader to that historical development, the latter part vindicates the natural law tradition’s relevance to current ethical, political, and jurisprudential discourse. Specific areas of public policy are considered in a final series of readings. Scholarly and thought-provoking, The Natural Law Reader offers prescient insights into a tradition that remains one of the most resolute foundations of Western civilization.
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