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The Decline of Natural LawHow American Lawyers Once Used Natural Law and Why They Stopped$
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Stuart Banner

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197556498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197556498.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
(p.iii) The Decline of Natural Law
Author(s):

Stuart Banner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197556498.003.0001

This book is about a fundamental change in American legal thought that took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Before the change, natural law played an important role in our legal system. Lawyers believed that human affairs were governed in significant part by laws of nature, laws that could be discovered in much the same way as the natural laws governing the nonhuman realm. After the change, lawyers believed that all the rules of the legal system are created by humans. This book will explain the functions natural law performed, why lawyers stopped using it, and how those functions came to be performed once natural law was no longer a component of the legal system.

Keywords:   natural law, legal history, jurisprudence, legal thought, common law, constitutional law, constitutional history, lawyer, judge

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