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Luke Gelinas

PHL271 Jan 9 th Basic Question for next few weeks: What is the relation between morality and civil law? Between the legal and moral norms that govern a community? What is the relation between morality and civil law? Must a civil law accord with morality to count as a law? What is the status of morally unjust laws? - status of laws that seem to be immoral or unjust o ex. permissible for police to detain Jews for their ethnicity o ex. segregation Aquinas on Natural and Civil Law - the angelic doctor - the dumb ox - stats from eternal law – which he says is the ‘divine reason’ that structures and rules the universe - from eternal law, Aquinas moves to natural law, which he says is the part of the eternal law that governs that natural stuff in the world - from natural law, Aquinas moves to human laws, which he says are concrete applications of the natural law Eternal Laws - laws of physics/logic/math - govern and explain domains of enquiry Natural Law - among eternal laws are laws that govern and set standards for the functioning of the natural world generally, including human behaviour - 2 big claims: o 1. Nature is Teleological  every living thing has a distinctive telos – goal, function, purpose, end…  something toward which it naturally moves – if left unhindered  ex. telos of tomato plant – flower and seed  ex. telos of wolf – more complicated…  since Darwin, don’t we know the end or goal of every living thing is just to reproduce? • not sure. But Aquinas (and his contemporary defenders) are thinking of a thing’s telos or function or end as more than just reproductive success o 2. Goodness/Badness explained in terms of a thing’s end or form or function  a thing’s telos/eng/goal determines what is good for it and what is bad for it  good: thrives at doing what it naturally does (achieving its telos)  detract from x’s telos = bad for x –- promote x’s telos: good for x Human Morality - natural law theory tells us to perform acts that contribute to the good or flourishing of… o ourselves o all other humans o some other humans (fam/friends) o higher-level animals (mammals – animals that can feel pain) o living things generally – insofar possible - if you want to stay alive – you have to do some damage to other living things at some point – Buddhist - what does a good human life look like? Natural Law and Human Law - for Aquinas, human laws are specific applications of the natural law to concrete human circumstances - room for leeway here – can be applied in different ways to different situations – to issue in different human laws - but nonetheless, human laws are an expression of the natural/moral law – participation* - what about immoral or unjust laws? o Augustine says – those laws aren’t really laws – don’t count  1. conceptual claim: x doesn’t count as ‘law’ unless x is just and conforms to morality • human laws are applications of moral laws • if something is a human law, it has to have good moral content and conform to moral facts  2. normative claim: x counts as law even if x isn’t just, but x has no normative force unless x is just Hobbes on Law and State of Nature Leviathan - main concern is the passages we read is to provide an account of the foundations of political community o what is the purpose of the state? o why do we form political community? o what forms of political authority are legitimate? - answers these questions by describing a movement from a primitive state of nature to life under political community State of Nature 1. imaginary condition of humankind
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