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Natural Law

(4,631 words)

Author(s): Weiler, Rudolf | Porter, Jean
1. Term The term “natural law” is used for the ethical theory of what is truly right (Ethics). The discipline differs from that of positive (i.e., prescribed) law by positing an order of what is right that is inherent in our human nature and that is known to us intrinsically. Natural law is thus the epitome of that order. It denotes that which is right by nature (Gk. physei dikaion, Lat. ius/lex naturae) rather than by statute (Gk. nomikon diakaion). In consequence of the modern empirical restriction in the use of the term “nature,” however, “natural law” and “law of n…