Natural Juridical Goods: The Juridical Status of Basic Human Goods in Aquinas’s Jusnaturalist Philosophy
Keywords:Basic human good, Juridical good, Natural right, Aquinas
The article offers an analysis of the way to transcend the debates on the moral status of basic human goods in Thomistic natural-law theory, by starting from the common ground of both parties to the debate and then presenting a research on the status of human goods as juridical goods. The claim that natural rights are natural juridical goods is not only profoundly Thomistic; it also contains elements of a fully-fledged juridical line of argument. Without the passage from the moral status of the basic human goods to their juridical status, the legality of the natural law would be seen as inherently non-juridical. The article concludes by claiming that Thomistic juridical realism establishes a bridge – between the moral “ought” and a conception of the juridical “ought” – on which rights are essentially seen not as subjective right-claims, but as the juridical goods of the other person.