Thursday, January 19, 2012

William Byrne on Edmund Burke

The American Conservative's Gerald J. Russello reviews a book that "wants to rescue Burke from those who would claim him for either the natural law or utilitarian movements" and argues that "Burke believed in universally applicable principles but did not, contra the natural-law crowd, believe they could be expressed in eternal cultural forms" — Postmodern Burke.

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Burke's convictions regarding the legitimate diversity among human cultures in no way undermines his commitment to natural law -- Thomas Aquinas certainly affirmed both principles, and nobody would seriously question his commitment to natural law. As Kirk pointed out constantly, natural law is not a substitute for human culture and human institutions, but the ground for them. That different people in different places in different times facing different circumstances developed different institutions in no way undermines a strong concept of natural law. It is a far more recent error to assume that natural law = human uniformity. Quite the contrary is the case, as St. Thomas Aquinas points out in his discussion of human determinations (what we might call applications) of natural law in the Summa Theologicae. Burke, who was no stranger to Aquinas, followed in that path.

January 20, 2012 at 1:52 AM  
Blogger Pints in NYC said...

Check your email re: this post, if you haven't already!


January 25, 2012 at 11:09 PM  

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