The End of Law
Show Less

The End of Law

How Law’s Claims Relate to Law’s Aims

David McIlroy

The End of Law applies Augustine’s questions to modern legal philosophy as well as offering a critical theory of natural law that draws on Augustine’s ideas. McIlroy argues that such a critical natural law theory is: realistic but not cynical about law’s relationship to justice and to violence, can diagnose ways in which law becomes deformed and pathological, and indicates that law is a necessary but insufficient instrument for the pursuit of justice. Positioning an examination of Augustine’s reflections on law in the context of his broader thought, McIlroy presents an alternative approach to natural law theory, drawing from critical theory, postmodern thought, and political theologies in conversation with Augustine.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 6: The good ending

David McIlroy


The conception of deep justice which rulers present to their subjects offers an account of how their subjects deserve to be treated and an account of the goods which their rule will make available for their subjects to pursue. Augustine defined a political community as united by common objects of love, by the shared goods which they pursue. Liberal conceptions of deep justice have eschewed discussion of the good. Nonetheless, human rights and economic theories have functioned as common objects of love in the West since the Second World War. Critical natural law theory inspired by Augustine insists that justice can only be done if the common good is attended to but that the law should give subjects and social institutions freedom to pursue distinct goods in different ways.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.