Finnis' Natural Law


Finnis' Natural Law


  • Aristotle (384- 322 BC) advocated that there was a natural justice valid for everyone
  • Aquinas (1225- 1274)
    • Natural Law = an aspect of God's eternal law
    • Accessed through human rationality given by God
  • John Finnis (1940- )
    • Australian Philosopher of Law and Legal Philosophy at Oxford (1989- 2010)
    • Author of 'Natural Law and Natural Rights' (1980)
    • Accepts natural justice on a universal level
    • Argues that the purpose is to ensure a person can 'flourish' in their life, unlike Aquinas

The Basic Goods

  • Rejects Aquinas' primary precepts
  • To allow humans to flourish there are instead seven basic, universal goods
  • They are evident through practical reasoning + exist independently from human


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