Inspired by the work of prominent University of Notre Dame political philosophers Catherine Zuckert and Michael Zuckert, this volume of essays explores the concept of natural right in the history of political philosophy. The central organizing principle of the collection is the examination of the idea of natural justice, identified in the classical period with natural right and in modernity with the concept of individual natural rights.
Contributors examine the concept of natural right and rights in all the manifold and interdisciplinary dimensions associated with the Zuckerts’ oeuvre. Part I explores the theme of natural right in the ancient and medieval political philosophy of Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, and St. Augustine. Part II examines the early modern break from the classical tradition in the work of Montaigne, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Locke, and Hegel as well as the legacy of the modern natural rights tradition as explored by Leo Strauss and Pope John Paul II. Part III treats the theme of natural rights from the Puritans through the Founding period in such figures as Thomas Jefferson and Gouverneur Morris and up to the Progressive era with Booker T. Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. Part IV addresses questions of natural justice in literature, including works of Euripides, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Edith Wharton, and Tom Stoppard.
"In this collection compiled in honor of Catherine and Michael Zuckert, the contributors address a wonderful variety of serious issues in important literary and philosophic texts. Their topics range from Plato on piety to Stoppard on socialist utopianism, and from Aristotle and Augustine to Euripides, Locke, Hegel, Shakespeare, and Booker T. Washington. The volume stands as an impressive introduction to the liberal arts and a lively introduction to many great issues of liberalism, Christianity, justice, and liberty; it is also a tribute to the Zuckerts' breadth of study, teaching, and influence." Robert K. Faulkner, Boston College