chapter  7
38 Pages

Do Natural Rights Derive from Natural Law?

WithMichael P. Zuckert*

This chapter describes the agenda suggested by Richard Tuck only to a slight degree by looking first to the classic natural-law theory, that of Thomas Aquinas, and then to the classic natural-rights theory of John Locke, in order to achieve some clarity on three closely-related goals. These goals are better insight into how theories of natural law and rights work; some historical insight into die progression of thinking that has gotten people to their ways of thinking about natural law and natural rights; some philosophic insight into the question Randy E. Barnett posed. The various natural duties require an act of specification – one of the functions of the human law and of moral casuistry – before they can produce a determinate table of obligations. Without a natural table of obligations, there can be no derivation of a table of natural rights.