Natural law

Natural law (Latin: ius naturale, lex naturalis) is a philosophy asserting that certain rights are inherent by virtue of human nature, endowed by nature—traditionally by God or a transcendent source—and that these can be understood universally through human reason. As determined by nature, the law of nature is implied to be objective and universal; it exists independently of human understanding, and of the positive law of a given state, political order, legislature or society at large. Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior from nature's or God's creation of reality and mankind. The concept of natural law was documented in ancient Greek philosophy, including Aristotle, and was referred to in Roman philosophy by Cicero. References to natural law are also found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, later expounded upon in the Middle Ages by Christian philosophers such as Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas. The School of Salamanca made notable contributions during the Renaissance. Modern natural law theories were greatly developed in the Age of Enlightenment, combining inspiration from Roman law with philosophies like social contract theory. Key proponents were Alberico Gentili, Francisco Suárez, Richard Hooker, Thomas Hobbes, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, Matthew Hale, John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, Jean Jacques Burlamaqui, Emmerich de Vattel, Cesare Beccaria and Francesco Mario Pagano. It was used to challenge the divine right of kings, and became an alternative justification for the establishment of a social contract, positive law, and government—and thus legal rights—in the form of classical republicanism. Conversely, the concept of natural rights is used by others to challenge the legitimacy of all such establishments. Contemporarily, the concept of natural law is closely related to the concept of natural rights. Indeed, many philosophers, jurists and scholars use natural law synonymously with natural rights (Latin: ius naturale), or natural justice. while others distinguish between natural law and natural right. Because of the intersection between natural law and natural rights, natural law has been claimed or attributed as a key component in the United States Declaration of Independence (1776), the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) of France, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights (1953) of the Council of Europe.

Words

This table shows the example usage of word lists for keywords extraction from the text above.

WordWord FrequencyNumber of ArticlesRelevance
natural18637380.194
law16837390.162
rights8457020.093
human6571950.066

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