Natural Law – Definition

Cite this article as:"Natural Law – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated July 31, 2019, last accessed October 21, 2020,


Natural Law Definition

Natural law is defined as a set of static laws that guide human behaviors and conducts. These laws are unchanging , they are inherent in humans, that is, derived from nature. Natural laws do not emanate from rules of law, the judicial systems or from courts, rather, they are laws intrinsic to the human nature. In philosophy, natural law remains the basis for human reasoning, conducts and behaviours. These laws are derived from nature, it is preexisting.

A Little More on What is Natural Law

Man-made laws are the direct opposite of natural laws, these are laws made through human conventions, they can be made in courtrooms. Man-made laws are also called positive laws, they are arrived at through human deliberations, legislature or by judicial body. Examples of positive law are traffic laws, trading laws, criminal laws and many others.

Natural laws on the other hand are typically philosophical, they are laws of nature, not formed by any human convention.

Example of Natural Law

There are many philosophers of natural law, the prominent ones are Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, Lysander Spooner and Thomas Aquinas. Although, philosophers and theologians maintain diverging positions when it comes to defining natural laws but there is always a meeting point. Natural laws are not derived from human cultures or customs, these laws simply emanate from nature. The major instance of natural law is the equality of all human beings. One of the examples of natural law is impartiality of judges, this interpretation was given by Thomas Hobbes.

References for “Natural Law

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