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2007

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Status Of Classical Natural Law: Plato And The Parochialism Of Modern Theory, Eric Heinze Jan 2007

The Status Of Classical Natural Law: Plato And The Parochialism Of Modern Theory, Eric Heinze

Prof. Eric Heinze, Queen Mary University of London

The concept of modernity has long been central to legal theory. It is an intrinsically temporal concept, expressly or implicitly defined in contrast to pre-modernity.

Legal theorists sometimes draw comparisons between, on the one hand, various post-Renaissance positivist, liberal, realist or critical theories, and, on the other hand, the classical natural law or justice theories of antiquity or the middle ages, including such figures as Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine or Aquinas. Many theorists, however, while acknowledging superficial differences among the various classical theories, fail to appreciate the variety and complexity of pre-modern thought. Unduly simplifying pre-modern understandings of law, they end ...


Epinomia: Plato And The First Legal Theory, Eric Heinze Jan 2007

Epinomia: Plato And The First Legal Theory, Eric Heinze

Prof. Eric Heinze, Queen Mary University of London

In comparison to Aristotle, Plato’s general understanding of law receives little attention in legal theory, due in part to ongoing perceptions of him as a mystic or a totalitarian. However, some of the critical or communitarian themes that have guided theorists since Aristotle already find strong expression in Plato’s work. More than any thinker until the 19th and 20th centuries, Plato rejects the rank individualism and self-interest which, in his view, emerge within democratic legal culture. He rejects schisms between legal norms and community values, institutional separation of law from morals, intricate regimes of legislation and adjudication, and ...