Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Samuel Scheffler, Alfred Tarski and Hugo Grotius

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3 ideas

25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 2. The Law / c. Natural law
Grotius and Pufendorf based natural law on real (rather than idealised) humanity [Grotius, by Ford,JD]
     Full Idea: Grotius and Pufendorf transformed the natural law tradition by starting from identifiable traits of human nature rather than ideas about what human beings ought to be.
     From: report of Hugo Grotius (On the Law of War and Peace [1625]) by J.D. Ford - Pufendorf, Samuel p.863
A natural right of self-preservation is balanced by a natural law to avoid unnecessary harm [Grotius, by Tuck]
     Full Idea: For Grotius, there was a fundamental 'natural right' of self-preservation upon which all known moralities and codes of social behaviour must have been constructed, but it is balanced by a fundament duty or 'natural law' to abstain from harming others.
     From: report of Hugo Grotius (On the Law of War and Peace [1625]) by Richard Tuck - Hobbes Ch.2
     A reaction: This theory has the virtue of economy, but I don't see how you can clearly justify those particular natural rights and laws, without allowing others to creep in, such as a right to a decent share of food, or a law requiring some fairness.
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 2. The Law / d. Legal positivism
Grotius ignored elaborate natural law theories, preferring a basic right of self-preservation [Grotius, by Tuck]
     Full Idea: Grotius said there was a minimum core of morality (based on self-preservation), and disregarded the elaborate accounts of principles of natural law which Aristotelians had always sought to develop.
     From: report of Hugo Grotius (On the Law of War and Peace [1625]) by Richard Tuck - Hobbes Ch.1
     A reaction: Aquinas would be the key Aristotelian here. I tend towards the Aristotelian view. If you go for the minimal view, it is not clear why there is a 'right' to self-preservation, rather than a mere desire for it.