Natural Law

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Natural Law'

A set of rules inherent in human behavior and human reasoning that governs human conduct. Natural law is preexisting and is not created in courts by judges. Philosophers and theologians throughout history have differed in their interpretations of natural law, but in theory, natural law should be the same throughout time and across the world because it is based on human nature, not on culture or customs.


An example of natural law, as interpreted by Thomas Hobbes, is that judges should be impartial. Other major philosophers of natural law include Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and Lysander Spooner.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Natural Law'

The opposite of natural law is "positive law" or "man-made law." Positive law may be based on natural law, but not the other way around. Positive or man-made laws include laws such as the speed at which individuals may drive on the highway and the age at which individuals may legally purchase and consume alcohol. While natural law typically applies to philosophy, it is also extensively used in theoretical economics.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Tort Law

    The area of law that covers the majority of all civil lawsuits. ...
  2. Maritime Law

    A body of laws, conventions and treaties that governs international ...
  3. Rational Behavior

    A decision-making process that is based on making choices that ...
  4. Administrative Law

    The body of law that governs the administration and regulation ...
  5. Behavioral Finance

    A field of finance that proposes psychology-based theories to ...
  6. Market Sentiment

    The overall attitude of investors toward a particular security ...
Related Articles
  1. Understanding Investor Behavior
    Active Trading Fundamentals

    Understanding Investor Behavior

  2. An Introduction To Behavioral Finance
    Active Trading Fundamentals

    An Introduction To Behavioral Finance

  3. How To Tell If A Company's In Trouble
    Options & Futures

    How To Tell If A Company's In Trouble

  4. Leading Indicators Of Behavioral Finance
    Active Trading Fundamentals

    Leading Indicators Of Behavioral Finance

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Certificate Of Deposit - CD

    A savings certificate entitling the bearer to receive interest. A CD bears a maturity date, a specified fixed interest rate ...
  2. Days Sales Of Inventory - DSI

    A financial measure of a company's performance that gives investors an idea of how long it takes a company to turn its inventory ...
  3. Accounts Payable - AP

    An accounting entry that represents an entity's obligation to pay off a short-term debt to its creditors. The accounts payable ...
  4. Ratio Analysis

    Quantitative analysis of information contained in a company’s financial statements. Ratio analysis is based on line items ...
  5. Days Payable Outstanding - DPO

    A company's average payable period. Calculated as: ending accounts payable / (cost of sales/number of days).
  6. Net Sales

    The amount of sales generated by a company after the deduction of returns, allowances for damaged or missing goods and any ...
Trading Center