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A FEW LECTURES
BY HENRY ST. GEORGE TUCKER,
Professor of Law, in the University of Virginia.
Published by James Alexander.
YOUNG GENTLEMEN OF THE JUNIOR Law Class :
We commence the labours of the session in this school with the study of Natural Law.-It is with unaffected diffidence that I enter upon the investigation of a subject which has employed the pens and occupied the reflections of many eminent philosophers, and the rather as the habits and occupations of a busy life and of a profession which is too apt to be exclusive in its demands upon our time, have withdrawn my own mind from all familiarity with the able treatises with which the school of Ethics has abounded. From these considerations I should have preferred an entire reliance upon a text book, but that there is none which has adopted and carried out a system of Natural Law upon the plan which seems to me most advisable for a School of Law. I purpose therefore, besides the use of the ordinary text book, to deliver to the class occasional lectures upon the subject, with a view of explaining the true spirit of the law of nature, and of pointing out its agreement or disagreement with the positive or municipal law.
It is said by Mr. Paley that moral philosophy, mrrality, ethics and natural law, all mean the same thing: namely, “The science which teaches men their duty and the reasons of it.” In this very general sense there would seem to be embraced the subject of ethics, (properly so called) which has been assigned to the fertile genius of another mengber of the faculty, as well as that of natural law in a more restricted sense, which has been attached to the du.
loco. 3-20-31 I WN