Books > Reference & Interdisciplinary > Encyclopaedias & reference works > Reference works
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Discovery Miles 117 120
Series: Great Political Thinkers series
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Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), the Dutch jurist and philosopher, is a
key theorist of the post-mediaeval state. According to Grotius, the
state is not subject to any terrestrial superior, either political
or ecclesiastical. His political writings develop the consequences
of this condition including the construction of state authority in
terms of 'natural rights', acknowledging the right to
self-protection and the needs of individuals. A further development
is the idea that the state is the instrument of justice beyond its
own boundaries. He asserted that there were universal moral
standards that could be used to judge questions of international
conflict. This universal morality was based on two prinicples: that
self-preservation is always legitimate; and that wanton injury of
another is always illegitimate. [On this foundation, rules for
reconciling conflict could be erected and the existence of civil
society explained.] These views have characterised much political
thought from Grotius' day to the present and have played their part
in the history of international law. This collection of articles
presents in chronological order the writings of 20th century
authors on Grotius and covers such topics as the life of Grotius,
the evolution of his ideas, his contribution to the theory of
'natural law' and his wider significance as a political thinker.
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