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In Defense of Natural Law$
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Robert George

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198267713

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267713.001.0001

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Natural Law and International Order

Natural Law and International Order

(p.228) 12 Natural Law and International Order
In Defense of Natural Law


Oxford University Press

The chapter focuses on the diverse ways in which contingent facts, historical circumstances, and other factors create the need for what Aquinas referred to as ‘determinationes’ in structuring the international order. A determinatio is the opposite of a ‘timeless’ principle that properly governs choice and action from the moral point of view in all times and places. When it comes to the structuring of the international order, we should beware of false absolutes. Moral principles have their limitations and beyond that, choices must be made among a range of morally acceptable options.

Keywords:   Aquinas, determinationes, international order, false absolutes

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