Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
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AbstractAfter analyzing Grotius’ formulation of the state of nature and natural law, social contract and international law, the author places emphasis on two insights. First, that a certain heuristic principle plays a central role in Grotius’ argument - the analogy between individuals and states in the state of nature. Second, his firm belief that within the international framework the protection of natural law of people and communities comes before respect for state sovereignty. The author will argue that morally unacceptable implications of these characteristics of Grotius’ theory, when we take into account the way in which he defines the rights of punishment and property, are in fact legitimation of interventionism and colonialism. The author will also argue that Grotius initiated an influential tradition in international law, characterized by a lack of clear boundaries between legal and moral norms.