Definition of natural law in US English:

natural law


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

    • ‘Religious groups likely will adopt discursive strategies based on natural law and human rights, which will have substantial effects on their own identity.’
    • ‘Basically Andy is arguing that morals need to be based in natural law.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Liberals for their part must resist the use of theology and natural law as a basis of coercive state policy.’
    • ‘Arguments can be constructed from natural law about human equality to support feminist positions inconsistent with George's convictions about marriage and the family.’
    • ‘They act on the principle of universal natural law called ‘the general welfare.’’
    • ‘But for the scholastics, the scriptural basis of natural law provided a way of determining those aspects of human nature that are normative.’
    • ‘Moral philosophy reposes on natural law precepts as common presuppositions, but its advice will be true only in the main.’
    • ‘The principles of natural law gained ground, and accompanying them came a growing belief in the equality of all human beings.’
    • ‘Just War teaching is a derivation of basic moral principles from natural 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.’
    • ‘This decision was based on natural law principles, rather than on the legal positivism espoused by the Supreme Court judges in the X case.’
    • ‘Finally, the Stoics believed that human beings were all meant to follow natural law, which arises from reason.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You have to go back to the fundamental principle upon which modern civilization was based, the principle of modern natural law.’
    • ‘Individualist feminism advocated equal treatment of all human beings under natural law.’
    • ‘That's where the moral authority, under natural law, lies.’
    • ‘However, Kant is very clear that there are principles - natural law - governing how the state authorities ought to act.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2An observable law relating to natural phenomena.

    ‘the natural laws of perspective’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Secondly, science is unable to explain why there are scientific or natural laws or why they are so consistent and dependable.’
    • ‘There are only a set number of radio frequencies, and the aliens have to abide by all natural laws as much as we do.’
    • ‘The architects of modern science, from Rene Descartes to Isaac Newton, had proposed a world of unthinking material objects ruled by natural laws.’
    • ‘Can known natural laws account for the explosion of live frogs?’
    • ‘They showed that the basic building blocks of life, amino acids, can be obtained from purely chemical elements by natural laws without intelligent intervention.’
    • ‘Newton's laws of motion are the most fundamental natural laws of classical mechanics.’
    • ‘However, research is revealing that there may be authentic, explainable and demonstrable natural laws and mechanisms in operation during these events.’
    • ‘Matter doesn't ‘behave freely’ but follows strict natural laws.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nineteenth-century physicians emphasized again and again that all organic life operated under the same natural laws.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is no contradiction in supposing that natural laws, even those belonging to fundamental physics, are subject to change.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1 Natural laws collectively.


natural law

/ˈnætʃ(ə)rəl lɔ/