Several kinds of permissive natural law were identified. Permission could be positive or negative, depending on whether it was specifically conceded by a legislator or only tacitly allowed. It could free from sin or merely remit some temporal punishment that was due. It could commend some conduct without commanding it or permit some evil without condoning it. Medieval canonists used the concept of permissive natural law to harmonize the discordant texts that they found in their sources; William of Ockham found it a powerful tool in his defense of Franciscan poverty against papal criticisms; for Richard Hooker it justified both the constitutional structure and the ritual practices of the Anglican church; John Selden used it to uphold the inviolability of contracts, most importantly the contract of government; Hugo Grotius made it a central theme in his treatment of the conduct permissible in waging war; in the eighteenth century Jean Barbeyrac and Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui associated the idea with the emerging doctrine of natural rights. In Liberty and Law, Tierney has presented us with a magisterial and provocative way of interpreting legal history.More information is available here.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
New Release: Tierney, "Liberty and Law: The Idea of Permissive Natural Law, 1100-1800"
Posted by Karen Tani
New from the Catholic University of America Press: Liberty and Law: The Idea of Permissive Natural Law, 1100-1800 (2014), by Brian Tierney (Cornell University). A description from the Press: