Gary Chartier and Jere L. Fox’s chapter examines the relationship between natural law and the state. Contemporary natural law theorists, particularly those working in the Aristotelian-Thomist tradition, have tended to view the state as necessary to secure human flourishing. Chartier and Fox seek to undermine this assumption. Natural law theorists, they argue, should deny that the state is necessary or desirable to secure the common good. The authors draw attention to an alternative natural law tradition represented by evolutionary social theorists such as Adam Smith, Lysander Spooner, and Friedrich A. Hayek, arguing that these theorists’ understandings of the basis of social order holds lessons for adherents of the Aristotelian-Thomist outlook. Chartier and Fox begin their chapter by exploring the role of consensual social institutions in securing the common good (understood in a narrow sense as the good of just social order). They then critically assess the influential natural law arguments for state authority offered by Germain Grisez, Joseph Boyle, and John Finnis, before explaining why non-state norms and institutions should be regarded as a viable route to ensuring social stability.
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.