Natural law, just naturalism (from Latin jus – right) is a philosophical and politico-legal doctrine of the 17th-18th centuries, which completed the development of the political, philosophical and legal thought of the Middle Ages and Renaissance and prepared the philosophical theory of politics, society and man of the European Enlightenment. In the framework of this teaching, great social and political projects of civil society and the rule of law, the concepts of individualism and liberalism, the theory of the state of modern times, the theory of contractual relations between society and the state, the novel-medieval concept of democracy and legal consciousness was reworked.

The theory of natural law arose as a response to the historical break-up of the early period of the New Times: the completion of the formation of the main national states, the emergence of a new type of statehood and the triumph of absolutism; the aggravation in this connection of the historical opposition of the state and society; continued sharp struggle for the territorial division of Europe; the collapse of religious unanimity and religious wars; the beginning of early bourgeois revolutions; the struggle for religious tolerance and the crisis of political theology. This situation discredited the idea of ​​the social functions of divine Providence. Social and spiritual crises and arbitrariness of power, universal instability of natural law theorists opposed the constancy of Nature and the objectivity of its laws, in which the sense of justice of the age was badly needed.

The philosophy and ideology of natural law developed already in the 16th century. One of the first principles of this doctrine was laid out by A. Gentili (1552-1608) in the essay “De jure belli as pacis” (“On the Law of War and Peace”). Later, there were two traditions of understanding natural law: the continental rationalist, which emphasized the deductive nature of the system of law: its genetic center was recognized as a man armed with a multi-primal intelligence given him by nature, and English empirical, tending to the practical organization of contractual and legal relations between society and the state. The first is presented in the writings of Grotius, S.Pufendorf, X.Tomazia, B.Spinozy, G.V. Leibniz, H.Volf.

The second – in the works of T. Hobbes, J. Locke, R. Cumberland, E. K. Shaftesbury and others.

In the theories of natural law, the basis of all relationships was initially recognized by Nature, God and Custom (Grotius triad). These three principles are natural; not political and not legal, but their naturalness gradually became homogeneous and social. The custom of natural appropriateness passed into legal history, into the sphere of culture (the legal culture of case law); the divine will, in turn, ceased to exceed the natural-rational mind, capable of independently discovering the rules of justice (Leibniz) – one of the foundations of legal conscience and political and legal practice; the late jusnaturalists are not in itself Nature, and human nature has become the main principle of natural law.

Yusnaturalism joined with organicism, which continues the ancient tradition: nature is organized, society is nature-friendly and, therefore, it must also be organized. Yusnaturalism developed a medieval tradition of public consensus among members of the community who had achieved the ability to enter into contractual relations with each other. This tradition was followed by Hobbes, in his understanding, such an agreement served as the basis for the civil organization of society, whose goal was to escape from the chaos of unorganized natural (i.e. pre-state) relations of mutual hostility.

The prudent organization of society must be supplemented in the concept of natural law by the same new organization of a man who, from the savage and savage savage death of a savage, turned into a law-abiding citizen and individual (Hobbes, Locke), endowed with rational reason and therefore able to become social (manifest a so-called. social qualities). Such a person becomes truly natural, for he is rational, as a rational and organized nature. The rationality of man is his rationality: just naturalism was preparing the enlightenment concept of reason.

It remained to make the state rational and rational, to reorganize and its positive law, that is, the right that includes the obligation. Such an organization is achieved by concluding an agreement between society (people) and the state. Natural law is the basis of these contractual relations, it is an argument against arbitrariness, the property of the people and protected by the people (Locke). The Roman-medieval tradition of limiting the sovereignty of the ruler to the right of the people to power, coming from the commentators of the Justinian Code, is maintained from Ulpian and supported by subsequent political thinkers such as Isidore of Seville, Iona of Orleans, John of Salisbury, Greenville, Ugomno, Marsilius of Padua, Henry de Braxton, J. Fortescue. Hobbes is still very close to this tradition, for him contractually is the subordination of society to the power of the state. In Locke and the late non-naturalists, contractually meant the rationalization of power and law, the restructuring of positive law into a natural one and the creation of a state of law (Locke). The natural positive law becomes due to the displacement of the subjective rationality of the “fact” and its replacement by the objective rationality of natural appropriateness. This concludes the competition of nature and will.

Natural law spread beyond the state in the field of international relations as a doctrine of the law of war and peace. This right was also subject to rational and rational reorganization (Gentili, Grotius, Tomazi). Yusnaturalism prepared ideas for the eternal peace of B. de Saint-Pierre, J.-J. Rousseau, I. Kant and combined them with the tradition of Marcilia (Defensor pacis, defender of the world).

The doctrine of natural law served as the theoretical basis for the political practice of the struggle for human rights, having preceded the Declaration of Human Rights at the end of the 18th century.

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