14 Vand. L. Rev. 23 (1960-1961)
Plato and the Doctrine of Natural Law

handle is hein.journals/vanlr14 and id is 39 raw text is: PLATO AND THE DOCTRINE OF NATURAL LAW*
HANS KELSEN**
I. IDEALISTIC AND REALISTIC DOCTRINE OF LAW
II. THE SO-CALLED DYNAmIC DOCTRINE OF NATURAL LAW
III. THE DYNAMIC NATURE OF EMPIRICAL REALITY AS THE BASIS OF A PLATONIC
DOCTRINE OF NATURAL LAW
IV. PLATO'S DOCTRINE O GOOD ,AND EVIL IN THE NATURE OF EIMPIRICAL REALITY
V. PLATO'S DOCTRINE OF GOOD AND EvLm IN THE NATURE OF MAN
VI. THE NATURAL SANCTIONS
VII. THE NATURAL ORDER OF LAw IN PLATO's PHILOSOPHY
I. IDEALISTIC AND REALISTIC DOCTRINE OF LAw
As a result of the shocks which the existing social orders have
experienced through two World Wars and the Russian Revolution,
an intellectual movement is becoming increasingly evident in the
Western World-one which, in sharp reaction to a scientific-positivistic
and relativistic philosophy, aims at a return to metaphysics and
theology, and-closely connected with this-to a renewal of the
doctrine of natural law. The proponents of this trend believe they
find valuable support in the philosophy of Plato, whose authority
until recently was virtually uncontested-and in this they are
justified.
Plato's doctrine of Ideas is the boldest of metaphysical speculations,
for it transcends empirical reality farthest; and the intellectual sys-
tem which he erected is in its total character more nearly theology
than scientific philosophy.
Less successful is the appeal to Plato's authority in an effort to
revive the theory of natural law, an attempt which has been made
recently by two American authors, Joseph P. Maguire' and John
Wild.2 Wild goes so far as to assert that Plato is the founder of the
* Translated by Mr. Richard N. Porter of the Vanderbilt Faculty. The
article appeared in the original German in 8 OESTERREICHISCHE FEiTscHRIFT
FUER OEFFENTLICHES REcHT No. 1 (Springer-Verlag, Vienna 1957) and is used
here with permission. All rights in the translation are reserved by the
Vanderbilt University Press.
* * Professor Emeritus, -University of California, Berkeley.
1. MAGUIRE, PLATO'S THEORY OF NATURAL LAW 151-78 (Bellinger ed. 1947).
This book is the tenth volume of the Yale Classical Studies. In text, it is
cited: (Maguire).
2. WILD, PLATO'S MODERN ENEMIES AND THE THEORY OF NATURAL LAW (1953).
Citations in the text will be in the form: (Wild 162). See also SOLMSEN,
PLATO's THEOLOGY 157, 184 (1942); STRAUSS, NATURAL RIGHT AND HISTORY
84-85, 135 (1953). The English translation of Plato used here has been PLATO,
DIALOGUES (Jowett transl. 1875).

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 2,700 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Access to this content requires a subscription. Please visit the following page to request a quote or trial:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?