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TitleRecovering natural right
Author(s)Colen, J. A.
KeywordsLeo Strauss
classical natural right
Issue dateMar-2018
PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
Abstract(s)There is a riddle, subject of much speculation, that shows up immediately: why does Leo Strauss seem to endorse Aristotle’s view—despite not being an Aristotelian—and to reject or nuance Aquinas’s? While describing the different approaches adopted by the classics in Natural Right and History Strauss devotes barely two pages to Aquinas, the “classic of natural right” in the 1940s. In these two pages, despite the “unambiguity,” “definiteness and noble simplicity” that make Aquinas’s teaching surpass even “the mitigated Stoic Natural Law teaching,” Strauss nonetheless deems it “reasonable to assume” that the “profound changes” that the Aquinas teaching represents with respect to his classic predecessors are due “to the influence of biblical revelation,” and we are, therefore, “forced to wonder” if this doctrine is accessible to the “unassisted human mind,” that is, without the light of Divine Revelation. A riddle compounded by the fact that although Strauss usually presents the “classical solution” to the problem of natural right as a unity, as opposed to the variety of modern solutions, the classics were almost as much in disagreement between themselves as the moderns in this matter. Why are the classics the solution for the problem of natural right, since prior to the Stoics very little is said by the classics, namely, Plato and Aristotle, about natural right?
TypeBook part
AccessRestricted access (Author)
Appears in Collections:CEPS - Publicações dos investigadores do CEPS

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