Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Philosophy of LawCollected Essays Volume IV$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Finnis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580088.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 17 January 2019

The Truth in Legal Positivism

The Truth in Legal Positivism

(p.174) 7 The Truth in Legal Positivism
Philosophy of Law

John Finnis

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a detailed history of the emergence of the term ‘positive’, in relation to law, in the 12th and 13th centuries, most richly and subtly in Aquinas, whose texts are described and analysed in detail. A concluding purely theoretical section sets out, illustratively, the basic reasons why the alleged debate between ‘natural law theory’ and ‘legal positivism’ is misplaced and futile, through inattention to ambiguities which, once noticed, enable it to simply dissolve. Though human law is largely artefact and artifice, not a conclusion from moral premises, neither its positing nor the recognition of its positivity can be understood without reference to the moral principles that ground and confirm its authority or challenge its pretention.

Keywords:   positive law, Aquinas, natural law theory, positivism, moral principles

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .