The Division and Principles of Practical Science

Aquinas's Commentary on Aristotle's Ethics 1.1.6-14 Moral philosophy, or the science of human action, has three principal branches: individual or “monastic” ethics, which studies individual action; domestic ethics, which studies the actions of the household; and political science or politics, which studies the actions of the political community (§6). Some of the first “principles” or …

Rutherford’s Own “Desert Island” Experiment

Samuel Rutherford's "Lex, Rex," q. 8 Rutherford continues to defend his claim that the power of government resides virtually, even if not formally, in the people. Of particular note in this chapter is his thought experiment of “a community transplanted to India, or any place of the world not before inhabited.” According to Rutherford, such …

Sovereignty Exists Virtually in the People

Samuel Rutherford's "Lex, Rex," q. 7 In question seven, Rutherford responds to an important question concerning what implications his view of the people’s right to make a king have for the notion of political sovereignty. According to his interlocutor, Maxwell the “Popish Prelate,” a people, whether considered collectively or individually, do not have sovereignty. Individual …