Man cannot possibly be good unless he stands in the right relation to the common good,

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

By , on May 10, 2013

Justice and the Good

The Purpose of this Website

The Natural Law Tradition represents a major strand of Western philosophy that once permeated political, social and religious understanding. Since the Enlightenment, however, it has fallen by the wayside, or become misunderstood. This is reflected in the profound changes in the conception of Nature and the cosmos that characterise modernity, and separate it from ancient and medieval thought. The scientific view of nature has replaced the ancient providential view of Nature.

The purpose of this website is to seek ways of reconnecting with the Natural Law tradition. This may be done through the presentation of classical texts on Natural Law, reflections on them, or through relating Natural Law to the contemporary world.

This is undertaken in the understanding that the ancient insights into Natural Law apply to all times and all circumstances. Natural Law conceives political society to have a nature which is connected with the cosmos as a whole, and that society or civilisation has a part to play within Nature as a whole.

Natural Law views the cosmos as intelligent and purposeful, and therefore opens the way to a rich understanding of evolution, the environment, and the relation of human nature to the whole of Nature.

Natural Law approaches the universe as essentially good and oriented towards perfection. The Good that all things strive by nature towards is the key to the unity of the universe. It is also the key to human goodness, to ethics and the virtues, and to justice and harmony in society.

Natural Law assumes that so long as all things conform to their own real natures they will flourish, each thing in itself and each in harmony with all. This principle relates human nature to reality as a whole, and it reveals how society suffers when it deviates from its own true nature. This principle also indicates that true knowledge of the nature of things corresponds with the understanding of universal justice, and that knowledge and ethics cannot be separated without harmful consequences. The Good and the True belong together and are two aspects of one reality.

We hope that this website will be a useful resource for the study of Natural Law and encourage renewed reflection on it in philosophy, ethics, economics, religion and the arts.

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