“John Locke and Natural Law”

W. von Leyden, "John Locke and Natural Law," Philosophy 31 (1956), 23-35


The law of nature as it occurs in Locke’s philosophy is not the same as one of Galileo’s or Newton’s so-called laws of nature: it is not concerned with physical phenomena, their motion or regularity. In the sense in which Locke uses the term, it refers to human behaviour and to a moral law. In this sense the notion of a law of nature has had a well-known history among moralists, political theorists, jurists, and theologians before and after Locke’s time.