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See all events. The purpose of the Management Philosophy group is to apply and develop philosophical theories and methods within key areas of business administration: management, organization, communication and finance.

The Fundamentals of Philosophy

The group is concerned with fundamental research in so far as it deals with the basic conditions for management and for the creation of value in economic as well as societal terms. These conditions are studied in their present as well as their historic forms in order to indicate how they might develop in the future. In accordance with the CBS strategy of Business in Society, we strive to produce knowledge that is applicable to the practice of business by questioning common sensical notions of finance, management and organisation.

Besides analyzing the preconditions for contemporary management, our research also reflect how these conditions may be transformed to improve the creation of value in society and organizations.

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The analytical approach of the group is critical in the sense that we insist on the changeability of things. We engage with practices in our fields of research in order to indicate, how these practices might rely on conditions not recognized by the actors in the field themselves. By pointing to the contingency of these circumstances, we intend to make these actors more reflective and to further redemption of hidden potentials in their practice. Philosophy of law often aims to distinguish law from other systems of norms, such as morality see ethics or other social conventions.

Views about the nature of law often depend upon, and occasionally have contributed to, answers to some of the most-fundamental philosophical questions—for example, regarding the foundations of morality, justice , and rights ; the nature of human action and intention ; the relations between social practices and values; the nature of knowledge and truth ; and the justification of political rule see political philosophy.


The philosophy of law is therefore an integral part of philosophy more generally. Whereas law as a means of governance of human communities dates back to at least bce in ancient Egypt , sustained and systematic philosophical reflection on its nature for which there is surviving evidence began only in the late 5th century bce in ancient Greece and nearby areas of the Mediterranean, not long after the birth of Western philosophy itself. From that point onward, a more or less continuous history of such reflection can be traced up to the present day.

As is true with the history of philosophy more generally, one can observe over the centuries changes not only in the theories set forth but also in the central questions about law that such theories were meant to answer. Although every philosophical theory is in part a product of the time, place, and culture in which it is developed, the philosophy of law is parochial in an additional sense. Philosophical speculation about the nature of law not only is very often shaped by the politics of the time and place of a given theorist but is also carried on with a specific sort of legal system and legal culture in view.

The latter fact is important, as the kinds of legal systems in Europe and the Anglophone world have varied widely through the last several millennia. Although the shape and structure of those systems cannot be discussed in any detail here, it should nonetheless be noted that a robust understanding of each of the major theories and texts in the history of philosophy of law requires some acquaintance with the legal systems of the cities and states in which a given theory was developed.

As a result, Aristotle theorized about law primarily on the model of general rules of action enacted by legislation and revisable by direct vote or other plebiscitary means. To take a different example, starting in the 17th century many British and later other Anglophone philosophers of law argued for the central importance of judicial institutions for the very existence of a legal system and debated the idea of legal reasoning as a distinct sort of deliberative activity.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

More recently, increasing attention has been paid to the related question of how the language of the law is to be correctly interpreted. Some theorists, beginning in the early 20th century, even found it fruitful to think about the nature of law primarily from the point of view of legal professionals such as judges or lawyers. According to Isidore, natural law includes.

The common possession of all things seems inconsistent with the acquisition and restitution of property. Thus natural law not only lays down rules but also recommends ideals. Since the indications do not impose strict obligations, human laws can for good reasons set them aside. To do so may even serve the recommended ideals, under some circumstances. For example… it was established that those who pertinaciously rebelled against those who have authority over them would be perpetually slaves when defeated and captured in war… that [they]… should thereafter become gentle….

Lewis vol. Many things that belong to the law of nations are also natural laws of the third kind. Besides natural law, scholastic thinkers developed a notion of natural rights, borrowing the notion of a right from the canon lawyers. A natural right may be simply something that natural law requires or permits. The market for these translations included the teachers, students and alumni of the urban schools, which in the early thirteenth century began to form universities.

This was not true, however, in political philosophy. In Arabic there was a good deal of political philosophy showing the influence of Plato for some information, see the entry on Greek Sources in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy , [ 37 ] but it had little or no influence over political philosophy in medieval Europe.

Political Philosophy by Dudley Knowles

Ideas which medieval political writers took from Aristotle or which Aristotle reinforced include the following:. So much for the sources of medieval political philosophy and its early stages. Let us turn now to the contributions made by scholastic and late scholastic writers, who often became involved in conflict between secular rulers and the papacy. Such interventions were strongly opposed by many secular clerics who argued that bishops had their authority by divine law and were not merely agents of the pope.

During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries popes also claimed the right to intervene in affairs normally the province of secular rulers. This claim was made especially in reference to the Roman Empire. From then until a succession of German princes claimed the title. The popes took the view that they had transferred the Empire from the Greeks to the Franks in the person of Charlemagne, and from the Franks to the Germans in the person of Otto I, thereby showing that the Roman Empire was subject to the popes, and in particular that the pope had a right to approve or reject the candidate elected to be emperor.

The emperor was elected by the German princes who constituted the electoral college—like the pope, the emperor was a monarch chosen by an electoral college to hold office for life. Besides the historical arguments there were theological or philosophical arguments. The popes did not in fact wish to take on the burdens of day-to-day government throughout the world.

Their claim was that, while ruling was normally the business of secular rulers, the pope could intervene by full right in governmental matters whenever he saw good reason to do so. Canon lawyers drew up lists of circumstances in which the pope might intervene for examples, see Tierney —4 , but some items in the list were so comprehensive as to leave no area in which popes could not intervene. Papal claims were opposed by secular rulers, by clerical writers who saw some interest in defending the secular rulers, and by theologians unconvinced by the pro-papal arguments and concerned about the likely effects of papal encroachment.

Most of the political writers of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were involved in controversy about the extent and limits or absence of limits of papal authority Miethke a; Oakley ff. The Summa theologiae includes discussions of dominion in the state of innocence, natural law and other kinds of law, property, the best form of government, the duty of obedience, war, coercion of heretics and infidels, and other political matters. These discussions are not organised into a separate treatise on politics but distributed through the work in accordance with its plan as a summary of theology.

Whereas Augustine had held that in the state of innocence there would have been no lordship of man over man, Thomas says that there would have been dominium [lordship] in the state of innocence Summa , 1, q. However, Thomas says that in the state of innocence there would have been no coercion, but there would have been government in the sense of wise leadership voluntarily accepted by the less wise. On natural law and other kinds of law Thomas again follows not Aristotle but the tradition of civil and canon law going back to the Roman Stoics.

Law is concerned with direction to the common good, which belongs to the whole people Summa , 1—2, q. All positive human law must be in accordance with natural law, though its prescriptions will depend upon choice and circumstances for example, natural law prescribes that we must not kill, but human positive law makes additional rules to prevent killing, rules that may depend on arbitrary choice—e. On property, Thomas follows the view of the Stoics and the Fathers that property exists by human positive law.

Natural law permits us to use things Summa , 2—2, q. The best form of government, according to Thomas, is a mixed government combining elements of democracy, aristocracy and kingship Summa , 1—2, q. On the duty to obey government, Thomas does not adopt the position that many others found in the New Testament, that disobedience is never justified.

According to Thomas Aquinas, though there is a general duty to obey the law and the government, an unjust law is not a law Summa , 1—2, q.

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For a war to be just, it must be commanded by someone in authority, there must be a just cause, and it must be carried on without disproportionate violence. It is not justifiable to lie to an enemy, since that would destroy the trust that will be needed to restore peace see Summa , 2—2, q.

On questions relating to the coercion of heretics and unbelievers, Thomas supports the practice of the medieval Church. A heretic i. Simple people should not be exposed to the opinions of unbelievers Summa , 2—2, q. The children of Jews should not be taken from them and brought up as Catholics, since this would violate natural justice, which gives parents control over under-age children Summa , 2—2, q.

The religious rites of Jews may be tolerated, but not those of other unbelievers, except to avoid strife or in hope of their gradual conversion Summa , 2—2, q.

The relationship between secular and spiritual power is discussed briefly at the end of an early work, the Scripta super libros sententiarum see 2, dist. When two authorities conflict, Thomas asks, how should we decide which to obey? He answers that if one authority originates totally from the other as, he says, the authority of a bishop derives from the pope , greater obedience in all matters is due to the originating authority.

If, however, both powers originate from a higher authority, the higher authority will determine which of them takes precedence on which occasion.

Spiritual and secular power, he says, both come from God, so we should obey the spiritual over the secular only in matters which God has specified, namely matters concerning the salvation of the soul, and in civic matters we should obey the secular power—. In De regno Thomas constructs an Aristotelian teleological argument to the same conclusion. A polity has an end, purpose or goal, which may be sought in a variety of ways, effectively or not, and it is a composite entity consisting of many individuals with their own individual purposes.

For both reasons there is needed some directing agency to guide the potentially conflicting individuals effectively to their common goal. Every being is in some way one; a composite entity has a unity of order, i. In preserving its being, therefore, the directing agency has to preserve the polity in peace and unity by ordering it to a common goal. There is a hierarchy of goals, that is, there are intermediate ends which are also means to higher ends.

Besides the state, humanity therefore needs the Church, a human agency God has established to confer grace through the sacraments.

Contingency in Political Philosophy

Hence there is a distinction between secular government, which uses naturally available means to guide citizens to their final goal, and ecclesiastical government, which uses supernatural means, the sacraments. Philip IV, King of France — , was one of the most ruthless of medieval rulers.

These conflicts gave rise to a body of writings of great interest to the history of political thought. He supports his position with many arguments, of which the following two are perhaps most significant. The thesis that only Christians can have lordship was inconsistent with the theological tradition and was generally rejected.

John of Paris d. This is true also of the pope, who does not have unrestricted power over Church property, still less over the properties of lay people 96— Property is acquired under human law, but it is acquired by individuals, not directly by rulers. As for rulership, John argues that the pope cannot be the supreme temporal ruler because the spiritual and temporal powers should be held by different persons. The temporal power is not established by, or in any way caused by, the spiritual power. Both come from God, but neither comes through the other. The spiritual is in some sense superior, but not as being the cause of the temporal power 93, The basis of the distinction between the two powers is not subject matter or ends, but means.

Each power is limited to its own appropriate means of action; the secular power uses natural means, the Church uses supernatural means — John explicitly rejects this line of argument. Teaching is a spiritual function, but in a household the teacher does not direct the physician. The physician exercises a higher art than the pharmacist, but, though the physician guides the pharmacist, he cannot give authoritative directions or dismiss the pharmacist.