Written on the Heart: The Case for Natural Law, By J. Budziszewski
Written on the Heart
  • Length: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: May 14, 1997
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 1891
  • ISBN: 9780830818914

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Voted one of Christianity Today's Books of the Year

With uninterrupted clarity, frequent eloquence and occasional humor, J. Budziszewski presents and defends the natural law tradition in what is at once a primer for students and a vigorous argument for scholars.

Written on the Heart expounds the work of the leading architects of theory on natural law, including Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and John Locke. It also takes up contemporary philosophy, theology and political science, colorfully running against the intimidating tide of advanced pluralism that finds natural law so difficult to tolerate.

Throughout the volume, Budziszewski sure-footedly achieves his self-confessed aim of displaying the "subtlety, richness and intellectual surprise" of the natural law tradition.

"A highly readable and stimulating survey of the natural law tradition from Aristotle to the present."

Philip Johnson in Books in Culture



Unit I: Aristotle
1. Politics the Human Good
2. Moral Excellence Regime Design
3. Friendship, Justice the Moral Significance of Law

Unit II: Thomas Aquinas
4. The Grand Design of Law
5. The Law of Nature the Law of Man
6. Human Law Regime Design

Unit III: John Locke
7. The State of Nature the Social Contract
8. Two Views of Natural Law
9. Private Property Revolution

Unit IV: John Stuart Mill
10. The Pleasure Principle
11. The Problem with the Pleasure Principle
12. Utility Justice

Intermezzo: The Art of Teaching

Unit V: Written on the Heart
13. A Christian Appraisal of Natural-Law Theory
14. A Reprise of the Older Thinkers
15. A Sampling of Recent Thinkers

Appendix: Elementary Reasoning


Select Bibliography


J. Budziszewski

J. Budziszewski is professor in the departments of government and philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. His books include The Revenge of Conscience, What We Can't Know, How to Stay Christian in College, and Ask Me Anything: Provocative Answers for College Students.