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Written on the Heart: The Case for Natural Law

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  10 reviews
With uninterrupted clarity, frequent eloquence and occasional humor, J. Budziszewski presents and defends the natural-law tradition in what is at once a primer for students and a vigorous argument for scholars. Written on the Heart expounds the work of the leading architects of theory on natural law, including Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and John Locke. It also takes up cont ...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published May 14th 1997 by IVP Academic
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Apr 01, 2014 John rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Having spent the last year reading through the works of Theonomists, I thought it would wise to return to reading on natural law. I happened upon J. Budziszewski’s Written on the Heart in my father’s library and picked it up. Budziszewski is obviously a very intelligent and well-learned man. He knows the material and is well acquainted with the thought of Aristotle, Aquinas (who he refers to as “Thomas”), Locke, and Bentham and Mill. The first portion of the book reviews these philosophers. In t ...more
Jacob Aitken
It's good, but don't get carried away. Budziszewski does a superb job in presenting the Natural Law Theory. The book is remarkably clear and gives a number of pointed legal applications. It is easy reading, and sometimes quite fun.

I have a few qualifications and comments on the book.

*I still remain unconvinced to a degree. On one level I agree with Budziszewski--as a medievalist in the tradition of Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, and Aquinas, I believe there exists an objective moral realm and that
Budziszewski (try saying that 10 times fast!) offers a good introduction to the Natural Law tradition in this book. He begins by looking first at Aristotle. He notes that Aristotle has many good things to say and makes positive contributions to the natural law case, but is - strictly speaking - not a natural law thinker but a natural rights thinker. Budziszewski points out that there's some in Aristotle that a Christian just can't accept, either.

He then moves on to Aquinas. He points out that Aq
Matthew Summers
I must confess I am disappointed by this book. It is not a *case* for natural law as much as it is an introductory history of the concept. The title misled me to believe that there would be developed arguments for and against natural law, but it only offered brief accounts of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, and JS Mill. Even after reading it I didn't feel like a case had been made per se, and I only had a marginally better understanding of the thoughts of each author. I would recommend th ...more
Jacob Stubbs
In this work, Budziszewski provides an interesting analysis of Natural Law. While it's clear that Budziszewski is smart and knows his stuff, I had a really hard time with his rhetoric. This work was definitely better than _What We Can't Not Know_; however, the way Budziszewski writes (and the font) are somewhat frustrating to me.
Seth Holler
Aug 29, 2014 Seth Holler marked it as to-read
Read in Feb 2012 (4 stars). Must reread soon.
Tia Septiani
what if I present this book? it seems good
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J. Budziszewski (born 1952) is professor of government at the University of Texas, Austin, where he has taught since 1981. He specializes in ethics, political philosophy and the interaction of these two fields with religion and theology.

Budziszewski has written widely, in both scholarly and popular venues, about a variety of moral and political issues including abortion, marriage, sexuality, capit
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