The rule of law is necessary in every human society. Human beings come together driven by the natural predicament of their bodily existence, which makes them dependent on mutual help. But the association of human beings gives rise to a second, “political,” predicament, insofar as humans, who have entered society for their own benefit and not that of others, may be inclined to prey on others and to become poachers of the common good. That is why a power standing above merely human power must be erected to rule them; this is the power of the law, which is not subject to human whims and desires but is essentially impartial. Such a super-human power gives the law the character of the “Absolute.” This character has been variously interpreted as the power of the divine (Aristotle), of reason (Cicero), or of the nature of things (Hobbes, Anonymous Iamblichi). This reflection shows that there is something in the law that goes beyond a mere human stipulation, namely a universal fore-knowledge of the Just.
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.