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The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez$
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Benjamin Hill and Henrik Lagerlund

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583645.001.0001

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Suárez and Natural Law

Suárez and Natural Law

(p.209) 11 Suárez and Natural Law
The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez

James Gordley

Oxford University Press

In this essay Suárez’s contribution to the development of the natural law within the Salamanca tradition are examined. Two accusations commonly laid against Suárez’s position are addressed—the charges that his account is minimal and negative on the one hand and essentialist on the other. It is argued that these two charges are conceptually connected because Suárez held a metaphysically rigid conception of what the natural law is. In Suárez’s metaphysically rigid conception the natural law becomes an abstract, almost Platonic entity, which prevented Suárez from restricting the natural law and its application to any specific circumstances.

Keywords:   Francisco Suárez, natural law, essentialism

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