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Teaching the Liberal Arts in the American Context
Short Video: Hadley Arkes on Political Order and Natural Law
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By David Kidd, April 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hadley Arkes, in his characteristically clear style, gives a short argument to the effect that the justification of a political order and the legitimacy of a constitution can only be made by appeal to more fundamental principles of law.

Hadley Arkes

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3 Comments
Lee Trepanier on Apr 13, 2011 at 8:46 am

As to be expected, insightful, thoughtful, and plenty to contemplate about from Professor Arkes!

John C on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding "...the philosophers of old did in vain enquire whether the summum bonum consisted in riches, or bodily delights, or virtue, or contemplation. They might have as reasonably disputed whether the best relish were to be found in apples, plums, or nuts, and have divided themselves into sects upon it."

What natural law is Prof. Arkes referring to?

David Kidd on Apr 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm

To be fair, Prof. Arkes never uses the phrase "natural law" in this video. That was my interpretation. Prof. Arkes's point, following Locke, is to suggest that the legitimacy of the American political order depends upon principles anterior to the constitution. I think this is tantamount to an appeal to the natural law. I also think it's a claim Locke could affirm. Do you disagree?

about the author

David Kidd
David Kidd

I am ISI's Director of Internet Technology and chief designer/developer of ISI's websites. I graduated with a B.A. from Baylor University's University Scholars program and earned an M.A. in philosophy from Villanova University. My wife, a philosophy doctoral candidate at Villanova University, and I live in Wilmington, Delaware.