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one of the three perilous encounters that perseus experience during his adventure is when he was asked to kill medusa, the beast with snakes as hair that will turn everybody who stares at the snakes into stones. the other one is when perseus stole the eyeball from the gray women and hostaged it in exchange for the location of the nymphs of the north. it was also a perilous experience when he had to fight and kill the serpent who is going eat and kill andromeda.
‘natural law theory’ is a label that has been applied to theories of ethics, theories of politics, theories of civil law, and theories of religious morality. we will be concerned only with natural law theories of ethics: while such views arguably have some interesting implications for law, politics, and religious morality, these implications will not be our focus here.
this article has two central objectives. first, it aims to identify the defining features of natural law moral theory. second, it aims to identify some of the main theoretical options that natural law theorists face in formulating a precise view within the constraints set by these defining features and some of the difficulties for each of these options. it will not, however, attempt to recount the history of the development of natural law thought. (for a very helpful detailed history of natural law thought up to the beginning of the modern period, see crowe 1977. for a very helpful detailed history of natural law thought in the modern period, see haakonssen 1996. for an article-length recap of the entire history of natural law thought, see haakonssen 1992.)1. key features of natural law theories1.1 natural law and divine providence1.2 natural law and practical rationality1.3 the substance of the natural law view1.4 paradigmatic and nonparadigmatic natural law theories2. theoretical options for natural law theorists2.1 natural goodness2.2 knowledge of the basic goods2.3 the catalog of basic goods2.4 from the good to the right