Treatise on Law
Treatise on Law is St. Thomas Aquinas' major work of legal philosophy. It forms questions 90-108 of the Prima Secundæ ("First [Part] of the Second [Part]") of the Summa Theologiæ, Aquinas' masterwork of Scholastic philosophical theology. Along with Aristotelianism, it forms the basis for the legal theory of Catholic canon law.
Aquinas' notion of law
Question 90 culminates in Aquinas' definition of law:
|“||Thus from the four preceding articles [of Question 90], the definition of law may be gathered; and it is nothing else than an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community, and promulgated.||”|
However, strictly speaking, this is a definition of human law. The term "law" as used by Aquinas is equivocal, meaning that the term does not have exactly the same meaning in every case. For Aquinas, law is an "analogous term"—a term with meanings regulated by a chief meaning. Human law is the primary meaning of "law" which is applied analogously to the other meanings.
"an ordinance of reason"
"for the common good"
The goal or end of law is the good of the given community upon which it is binding.
Kinds of law
1. IN GENERAL
- Q. 90: Of the Essence of Law
- Q. 91: Of the Various Kinds of Law
- Q. 92: Of the Effects of Law
2. IN PARTICULAR
- Q. 93: Of the Eternal Law
- Q. 94: Of the Natural Law
- Q. 95: Of Human Law
- Q. 96: Of the Power of Human Law
- Q. 97: Of Change in Laws
- Q. 98: Of the Old Law
- Q. 99: Of the Precepts of the Old Law
- Q. 100: Of the Moral Precepts of the Old Law
- Q. 101: Of the Ceremonial Precepts in Themselves
- Q. 102: Of the Causes of the Ceremonial Precepts
- Q. 103: Of the Duration of the Ceremonial Precepts
- Q. 104: Of the Judicial Precepts
- Q. 105: Of the Reason for the Judicial Precepts
- Q. 106: Of the Law of the Gospel, Called the New Law, Considered in Itself
- Q. 107: Of the New Law as Compared with the Old
- Q. 108: Of Those Things That Are Contained in the New Law
- THE LOGIC OF NATURAL LAW IN AQUINAS'S "TREATISE ON LAW"
Journal of Philosophical Research, 1992, Vol. 17, pp. 147-164.
- Dr. Edward N. Peters, CanonLaw.info, accessed Dec-17-2013
- Gateway Edition, pg. ix
- https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Treatise_on_Law, accessed Dec-19-2013
- Gateway Edition, pg. viii
- Gateway Edition, pg. vii
- Gateway Edition, pg. vi
- Gateway Edition, pg. x
- Law of Christ I, pg. 236
- Gateway Edition, pg. 2 (Summa, Ia-IIæ, Q.90, A.1, Obj.3)
- J. Budziszewski, Commentary on Treatise on Law, accessed Dec-19-2013
- Law of Christ I, pg. 236
- Summa I-II, q95, a2, 'dicendum quod
- Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Natural Law", accessed Dec-20-2013
- https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Treatise_on_Law, accessed Dec-17-2013
St. Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Law (Summa Theologica, Questions 90-97)
With a New Introduction by Ralph McInerny, University of Notre Dame
Gateway Editions, Regnery Publishing, Inc.
©1956; 2001 printing
Bernard Häring, C.SS.R, The Law of Christ, Vol. I
Translated by Edwin G. Kaiser, C.PP.S.
The Newman Press
©1961, Second Printing November 1961