Natural Law: An Introduction to Legal Philosophy

By A. P. d'entrèves | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION

THE time has now come to bring this long argument to a tentative conclusion. The validity of that conclusion can be tested only by the light which it throws upon the problem at issue. A great jurist of the last century who devoted his life to the historical study of law, once wrote that the undying spirit of natural law can never be extinguished. "If it is denied entry into the body of positive law, it flutters around the room like a ghost and threatens to turn into a vampire which sucks the blood from the body of law."1 The present essay is an attempt to account for the ghost and perhaps to exorcise it.

I suggested at the beginning of this enquiry that we should try to assess the meaning of natural law from two different angles, the historical and the philosophical. But on closer inspection these two lines of approach cannot but appear as fundamentally contradictory. The very notion of an "historical function" is hardly compatible with that of a "permanent value". History may well tell us the part which the doctrine of natural law has played in the building up of our cultural heritage. It may convince us of the importance of spiritual factors in the shaping of events and of positive institutions. But it will also make us painfully aware of the "relativism" of all natural law theories. It will provide the unfriendly critic with further grounds for dismissing such theories as typical "ideological superstructures" in the interplay and clash of historical forces.

Political ideology is the term which modern historians tend to substitute whenever natural law would formerly have been mentioned. From a strictly historical standpoint the two expressions may well seem equivalent. As the former Master of Balliol once pointed out, even the doctrine which, at the present day, most emphatically claims to be based on a "scientific" interpretation of history, can easily be construed into a theory of natural right.2 Yet, on the other hand, the

____________________
1
O. von GIERKE, Natural Law and the Theory of Society, I, p. 226.
2
A. D. K. LINDSAY Marx's Capital, An Introductory Essay, 1925.

-113-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Natural Law: An Introduction to Legal Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 3
  • Foreword 5
  • Introduction 7
  • Chapter I - A Universal System of Laws 17
  • Chapter II - A Rational Foundation of Ethics 33
  • Chapter III - A Theory of Natural Rights 48
  • Chapter IV - The Essence of Law 64
  • Chapter V - Law and Morals 80
  • Chapter VI - The Ideal Law 95
  • Conclusion 113
  • Index 123
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 126

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.