The Journal of Libertarian Studies

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Toward a Theory of Legal Naturalism

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

Tags Legal SystemPolitical Theory

07/30/2014Randy E. Barnett

In legal philosophy there is perhaps no older, nor deeper, conflict than that which exists between legal positivists and natural law advocates. I use these "catch words" not with- out a certain trepidation since they have had shifting and divergent meanings. This has resulted in a preoccupation with attempts to define "natural law" or "positivism", rather than examining the underlying dispute. I do not feel the need, however, to launch into any extensive search for definitions here, for to the extent that I discuss either view, I shall not criticize it. My premise is that within the limits of this discussion, each side is viewing a different, but genuine aspect of law. Though the conclusions of both schools are incompatible, many of their insights are not. My intention is, by uniting certain of these complementary insights, to synthesize a new outlook on law.

Volume 2, Number 2 (1978)

Cite This Article

Barnett, Randy E. "Toward a Theory of Legal Naturalism." Journal of Libertarian Studies 2, No.2 (1978): 97-107.