Duma Tomasz
PDF Print Email
48(2012)2 - Papers

Tomasz Duma

Existential foundations for natural law according to Mieczysław A. Krąpiec

  • language: Polish


The article deals with the problem of the metaphysical foundations of natural law in the light of M.A. Krąpiec’s philosophy. It implies a distinction between two aspects of the law – the existential, as the order written into the nature of things (Lat. ius), and the essential, as the result of legislative activities (Lat. lex). This distinction is essential to the discovery of inherent rights of the human being and their proper expression in legal norms. The existential aspect, recognized by analogical and transcendental cognition, indicates the ontological basis of natural law, which is directly determined by the structure of the human being, and ultimately justified by the eternal law. An analysis of human nature enables the discovery of the real purpose of natural law, namely common good as a primary motive of all human action. This good consists in the common human inclination towards the pursuit of the optimum potential of beings, and can be realized only through their relationships with other people. It determines personal development. Common good involves every person internally as an order of practical reason, imposing a duty to pursue this good. The order of this practical reason includes the fundamental content of natural law, namely its first principle: “good is to be done.”