Definition of natural law in US English:

natural law


  • 1A body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct.

    • ‘The group lives by the idea of promoting the peace and prosperity of every individual and every nation through transcendental meditation and the observance of natural law.’
    • ‘Finally, the Stoics believed that human beings were all meant to follow natural law, which arises from reason.’
    • ‘Religious groups likely will adopt discursive strategies based on natural law and human rights, which will have substantial effects on their own identity.’
    • ‘Individualist feminism advocated equal treatment of all human beings under natural law.’
    • ‘Just War teaching is a derivation of basic moral principles from natural law.’
    • ‘You have to go back to the fundamental principle upon which modern civilization was based, the principle of modern natural law.’
    • ‘This decision was based on natural law principles, rather than on the legal positivism espoused by the Supreme Court judges in the X case.’
    • ‘The Ten Commandments, except the Sabbath law, are found nearly universally in human societies diverse in space and time and so are taken to be natural law for all humans.’
    • ‘The principles of natural law gained ground, and accompanying them came a growing belief in the equality of all human beings.’
    • ‘If history is divided into divine history, natural history, and human history, then law can be divided into natural law, human law, the laws of nations, public law, and civil law.’
    • ‘They act on the principle of universal natural law called ‘the general welfare.’’
    • ‘However, Kant is very clear that there are principles - natural law - governing how the state authorities ought to act.’
    • ‘Basically Andy is arguing that morals need to be based in natural law.’
    • ‘But for the scholastics, the scriptural basis of natural law provided a way of determining those aspects of human nature that are normative.’
    • ‘Liberals for their part must resist the use of theology and natural law as a basis of coercive state policy.’
    • ‘Moral philosophy reposes on natural law precepts as common presuppositions, but its advice will be true only in the main.’
    • ‘That's where the moral authority, under natural law, lies.’
    • ‘According to natural law ethical theory, the moral standards that govern human behavior are, in some sense, objectively derived from the nature of human beings.’
    • ‘Arguments can be constructed from natural law about human equality to support feminist positions inconsistent with George's convictions about marriage and the family.’
    • ‘As an historical matter, positivism arose in opposition to classical natural law theory, according to which there are necessary moral constraints on the content of law.’
    • ‘Before the advent of the Enlightenment's radical critique of religion, however, the medieval natural law advocated by Thomas Aquinas upheld the view that people had no rights, only duties.’
  • 2An observable law relating to natural phenomena.

    ‘the natural laws of perspective’
    • ‘Matter doesn't ‘behave freely’ but follows strict natural laws.’
    • ‘An object was said to be complex if the probability of its occurrence with respect to known natural laws was below a certain, absolute, lower bound.’
    • ‘An outstanding issue in Descartes' account was his failure to incorporate the origins of living beings into this naturalistic story of creation by natural laws.’
    • ‘They showed that the basic building blocks of life, amino acids, can be obtained from purely chemical elements by natural laws without intelligent intervention.’
    • ‘Humankind is a part of nature and no sharp distinction can be drawn between itself and its surroundings, as everything is impermanent and subject to the same natural laws.’
    • ‘Many scientists believe homeopathy violates natural laws, and thus any effect must be a placebo effect - the power of a patient's beliefs to influence treatment results.’
    • ‘Almost all phenomena can, as we have seen, be explained by a normal scientific explanation in terms of the operation of natural laws on preceding states.’
    • ‘Secondly, science is unable to explain why there are scientific or natural laws or why they are so consistent and dependable.’
    • ‘Newton's laws of motion are the most fundamental natural laws of classical mechanics.’
    • ‘I still have a strong interest in any phenomena that would violate our known natural laws of physics and redefine our understanding of our universe.’
    • ‘Can known natural laws account for the explosion of live frogs?’
    • ‘It is our immense good fortune that this revolution, which shows how both Earth and the heavens follow the same natural laws, continued to grow.’
    • ‘There are only a set number of radio frequencies, and the aliens have to abide by all natural laws as much as we do.’
    • ‘There is no contradiction in supposing that natural laws, even those belonging to fundamental physics, are subject to change.’
    • ‘Nineteenth-century physicians emphasized again and again that all organic life operated under the same natural laws.’
    • ‘However, research is revealing that there may be authentic, explainable and demonstrable natural laws and mechanisms in operation during these events.’
    • ‘In essence, it is simply a rehash of views that are completely antithetical to the scientific outlook, which insists that everything is explicable in terms of the natural laws of material development.’
    • ‘If you want to farm sustainably, they have told us, then you have got to make your farming conform to the natural laws that govern the local ecosystem.’
    • ‘Newton's major achievement was to uncover the natural laws that governed the motion of the planets and the motion of bodies on the surface of the earth.’
    • ‘The architects of modern science, from Rene Descartes to Isaac Newton, had proposed a world of unthinking material objects ruled by natural laws.’
    1. 2.1 Natural laws collectively.


natural law

/ˈnætʃ(ə)rəl lɔ/