The Question of Natural Law in Aristotle

Author: Corbett, Ross

Source: History of Political Thought, Volume 30, Number 2, 2009 , pp. 229-250(22)

Publisher: Imprint Academic

Buy & download fulltext article:


Price: $29.34 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Aristotle continues to be associated with natural law. Some scholars see this association as untenable; others adhere to Aquinas' reading, even if unconsciously. This article departs from both. It restores the plausibility of an Aristotelian natural law, but concludes that it is ultimately incompatible with Aristotle's doctrine. It is plausible because Aristotle does suggestively point towards it. He does so, however, in order to distance himself subtly from it. He must do so subtly because what he in fact points to is a confusion associated with the virtue of justice.

Keywords: Absolute King; Aquinas; Aristotle; Bernard Yack; Critique of Virtue; Harry Jaffa; Natural Justice; Natural Law; Nicomachean Ethics; Political Justice; Politics; best regime; democracy; divine law; justice; natural right; rule of law

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Zulauf Hall 415, Dept of Political Science, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL 60115., Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2009

Related content



Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page