Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Law and ethics
(966 words)

Both law and ethics formulate cultural behavioral norms. The differentiation or distinction between these areas is thus a fundamental problem of juristic and philosophical thought. Usually, the view is taken that pre-state societies had not yet separated legal, ethical, and religious norms from one another; this did not happen until after the Enlightenment [9. 2 f.].

Although the question of the distinction between natural law, ethics, and state law had already been raised in the Middle Ages (by Thomas Aquinas among others), it took on new and, in …

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Habermeyer, Helen and Klippel, Diethelm, “Law and ethics”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_026207>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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