Tagged: Philosophy of Law

Plato: Laws. Book 1. Written in 360 B.C.E

This dialogue is about the nature of law. the persons in the dialogue: An ATHENIAN STRANGER (possibly Socrates?); CLEINIAS, a Cretan; MEGILLUS, a man from Lacedaemonia.  Athenian Stranger. Tell me, Strangers, is a God or some man supposed to be the author of your laws? Cleinias. A God, Stranger; in very truth a, God: among us Cretans he is said to have been Zeus, but in Lacedaemon, whence our friend here comes, I believe they would say that Apollo is their lawgiver: would they not, Megillus? Megillus. Certainly. Ath. And do you, Cleinias, believe, as Homer tells, that every ninth year Minos went to converse with his Olympian sire,...

Aquinas on Law

The following streamlined text selections from the Summa Theologiae, Thomas Aquinas’ main work, show his treatment of the philosophical problems of the law. The sections reproduced here contain only the so-called “responsios”; some articles are omitted entirely.  Thomas’s approach is very consistent; he has great confidence that reason can function as a guide to guide to ethical decision-making. Whether law is something pertaining to reason Law is a rule and measure of actions through which one is induced to act or restrained from acting. Lex, “law,” is derived from ligare, “to bind,” because it binds one to act. The rule...