The following is a paper that I wrote in 1999. I need to get back into this stuff!

Aeternitas Mundi and the Independence of Philosophy



      In the early part of the second millenium, contact with Islamic civilization in the Balkans, in Spain, and on the seaways of the Mediterranean reintroduced Christian thinkers to a long-forgotten Aristotle, and to the living intellectual bargain stuck between philosophy and Islamic theology. Compounding new chunks of the Aristotelian corpus to his logic, western Europeans of the thirteenth century faced an exotic philosophical system of enormous depth and complexity. Aristotelianism represented, not some philosophical-cum-mystical movement, such as the heresies of the Patristic church and the late Middle Ages, but an explanation, complete unto itself, of the world in completely material terms. For the first time since its clash with Stoicism and neo-Platonism many centuries earlier, Christian theology faced an independent philosophical system capable of supporting a forest of theories any many hedges of proofs on its own turf. Within this episode, a flashpoint of controversy was the doctrine of creation: the question of the eternity of the world broached again as major metaphysical hurdle for Aristotelianism in any form. Here, we will consider the reactions of Thomas Aquinas, Siger of Brabant, and Boethius of Dacia to this question.


The Condemnation of Aristotelianism


      At the University of Paris, then the intellectual capital of Christendom, scholastic philosophers of the thirteenth century responding to the challenge of Aristotle fell into three distinct schools. The first of these, located practically in the person of Thomas Aquinas, sought to accommodate Aristotelian ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics to the imperatives of Christian revelation, considering the Gospel, not as the abrogation, but as the fulfillment of accurate but essentially secular philosophy. The second of these, the so-called “Latin Averroists represented chiefly by Siger of Brabant and also by Boethius of Dacia, are often thought to have accepted philosophical conclusions, as a so-called “double-truth,”  independently of apparently contradicting claims by the Bible and its interpreters. A third school arrived in the form of neo-Augustinian movement anticipated by Bonaventure and led by John Pecham and Henry of Ghent. (1)

      Local synods meeting in Paris condemned Aristotelianism in 1270 and 1277. The papacy had already forbade the teaching of the metaphysical works of Aristotle in 1231. Over the generation, this proscription would fall by the wayside. On 10 December 1270, Stephen Tempier, Bishop of Paris, condemned thirteen errors, among them four clearly associated with the teaching of Siger: that the intellect of all men is numerically one and the same; that the world is eternal; that there never was a first man; that after death the separated soul does not suffer from corporeal fire. (2) Over the next seven years, opposition to Aristotelian philosophy smoldered. In the interval, Thomas Aquinas went to his reward (1274)  and Siger of Brabant found his way into retirement (1276). On 7 March 1999, in response to a papal request for investigation, Tempier, acting upon the advice of a committee of theologians including Henry of Ghent, condemned 219 heretical propositions.

      Heading this list were propositions “that there is no more excellent state than to study philosophy” and “that the only wise men in the world are philosophers." (3) Anxious to forestall the imperialism of reason, Tempier denied “that there is no rationally disputable question that the philosophers ought not to dispute and determine, because reasons are derived from things.” (4) For “philosophy under one or another of its parts to consider all things” went hand in hand with the equally arrogant refusals “not to be content with authority to have any certitude in any question” and “not [to] hold anything unless it is self-evident or can be manifested from self-evident principles.” (5) In the same vein, the sufficiency of reason is denied in the proposition no. 8: “That our intellect by its own natural power may can obtain to a knowledge of the first cause." (6)

      On the heels of a prologue directed against the autonomy of philosophy, poured forth a cascade of assorted propositions, often redundant and occasionally contradictory, as may be expected in the output of a committee. Many idiosyncrasies in the list seem to have been occasioned by outcome of attempts by M.A.’s at the Paris to debate theology. (7) A number of the condemnations (e.g., nos. 34, 38, 39, 40) cast aspersion upon the separate existence of the soul or the intelligent principles, denying their co-temporal existence with God. Several propositions are directed not only at the radical Aristotelians, but even at Aquinas, denying matter as the mode through which men are individuated (nos. 42, 43). Prominent within those condemned were theses touching the eternity of the world. The world is not able to exist in the past because it is able to exist for the future (no. 84, cf. no. 87). The presence of newness in effects does not require corresponding newness in causes (no. 85). Related to this is the denial of the eternity both of the agent and possible intellects (no. 129), and of the generation of man (no. 138). (8)

      On the point of creation, the condemnations reveal conservative theologians intent upon preserving power and attributes of God in traditional Augustinian terms. God cannot be reduced to a prime mover distinct from the rest of the universe only by his efficient priority (cf. nos. 24, 25, 26). God, for Tempier and company, clearly exists as a being metaphysically discontinuous from and even incomprehensible to his creation. However, any purely secular understanding of the world is insufficient; faith is not accessory but necessary. Witness proposition no. 216. “That a philosopher must not concede the resurrection to come, because it cannot be investigated by reason.—This is erroneous because even a philosopher must bring his mind into captivity to the obedience of Christ." (9)




      The local historical impetus for the Condemnations of 1270 and 1277 are located in points given a century earlier by Averroes (1126-1198) in his Decisive Treatise. Discussing the differences of agreement between the ancients and his contemporary fellow Muslims, Averroes asserts that they agree that there are three classes of beings. The first, “the status of bodies whose generation is apprehended by sense,” is that of being which is brought into existence by other than itself and by something . . . and it is preceded in time." (10) The second class is God, “the being which is not made from or by anything and is not preceded in time." (11) To Averroes, a third class of being exists about which all confusion centers, “that which is not made from anything and which is not preceded by time, but which is brought into existence by something." (12) To Averroes, this is simply the world. Noting that both theologians and philosophers agree on the future infinite extension of time, Averroes narrows their disagreement to the issue of the past finitude or infinitude of its past existence.

      To the Arab, this difference is not especially great, certainly not enough to brand the philosophers’ position “irreligious.” Not only is he unable to secure a proof-text for the divine existence apart from any other book, but he argues that the Koran apparently posits further modes of being not only after this present time, but also before. By this tactic, he is able to reduce both theologians and philosophers to the “level playing field” of allegorizing the apparent meaning of revelation. For Averroes, the theological allegory is deficient precisely because it lacks the consensus held by the philosophers. (13)


Siger of Brabant


      The question of the eternity of the world became a major issue in Paris with the reception of Aristotle in the following century. Siger of Brabant, in his early 1270s treatise De Aeternitate Mundi, articulates a relatively dry, uneditorialized case for the eternity of the world, substantially derived from Averroes. Metaphilosophically, Siger’s work represents a rising new genre in medieval thought: simply assuming the validity of its Aristotelian assumptions, the opusculum works out steady analysis without even bothering to seek any sort of concordia discordantium. (14) Siger makes no real attempt in his work to reconcile large-scale objections to his thesis; he merely demonstrates how it might be supported against limited counter-arguments. At the onset, he proposes two basic questions to be addressed. “The first question is whether the human species, and in general the species of all individuals began to exist only by way of the propagation of generable and corruptible things when it had no previous existence whatsoever." (15) The basic point here is that each species has its being and receives causation only as individuals. The second question shifts ground to reapproach the same issue from the standpoint of universals: “universals, just as they do not have existence in singulars, neither are so caused." (16) Again, Siger is essentially concerned to understand how a individual thing can begin to be.

      To evaluate these questions, he proceeds to ask three more basic questions: how the human species is caused, how universals exist in singulars, and whether potentiality may proceed act in duration. (17) On the first point, he concludes that species may not be caused except by accidental generation. Thus, for Siger, species is not essentially generated.


It is not to be thought of as eternal and caused as if it existed abstracted from individuals. Nor  . . . . in the sense that it exists in an eternally caused individual . . . . but rather because in the individuals of the human species one is generated before the other eternally, and the species has to be through and individual’s existing and being caused. (18)


At this point, Siger uses the analogy of Aristotle’s concept of time from Physics 4.13: Whatever is finite in quantity, while infinite in number, must be infinite. (19)

On the second question, he responds, following Aristotle, that universals exist in the mind. For Siger, the active intellect and the phantasm formed precede the act of the intelligible; accordingly, the universal does not get its universality from the nature causing the act of understanding. (20) In dealing with the third question, Siger addresses “whether act precedes potentiality in time or potentiality the act.” (21) Following Aristotle in Metaphysics 9.8, he argues “that in a being which is the same in number proceeding from potency to act, potency proceeds act; but that, nevertheless, before the being in potency there is another of the same species in act, educing from it potency to act.” (22) Thus, Siger winds up affirming that act thus effectively precedes potency, as all beings go into actuality from potentiality through an agent existing in act. “Hence it is that in any given being in potentiality to some act, the act of the species in a certain way, although not entirely for the same reason, precedes that potentiality in time; not however, in any given being in act does potentiality from which it proceeds to act, proceed." (23) This would prove the eternity of the world, for “the first mover leading into act all being in potentiality does not precede in time the being in potentiality, since the being in potentiality is regarded in the rank of prime matter. For, just as God always exists, according to Aristotle, so also does the potential man, since he is regarded as in prime matter." (24) What Siger seems to be saying this that the world must consist of parts in eternal act and potency, the former acting upon the latter and the latter allowing the former to act.

      Boukowksi suggest that Siger, in addressing the causation of the world here in De Aeternitate Mundi and elsewhere in his commentaries on Aristotle, is merely presenting probably, naturalistic arguments based on logical extrapolation from imperfect philosophers. According to this interpretation, he dispassionately expounds the implications of an unmoved first cause as envisioned by Aristotle and Averroes; while implicitly accepting the rappochment of philosophy and Law made explict in Boethius of Dacia. Within Siger’s philosophical  account, then, the first cause requires an eternal effect, and thus generates the world eternally. The natural explanation is adequate, on its own level of knowledge; faith is left free to affirm something quite separate, on another level. (25) Here again, Siger plays the proto-Renaissance “humanist,” more interested in the thought than whether it counts.




      Probably a year after Siger’s writing, Thomas Aquinas treated the problem in a treatise of his own, his own De Aeternitate Mundi. Whereas Siger’s treatise is short on “philosophy of religion” commentary, Aquinas’ libellum exudes it. For Aquinas, the eternity of the world problem represented a potential peril ready to taint the critical, adaptive use of Aristotle with the taint of impiety—a fear later given form in the Condemnations of 1277. From the onset of his opusculum, he seeks clarify that it is one thing to investigate the mode of creative causality and, in the context, to question whether the world could be coeternal with its cause; and quite another thing to question divine causality categorically by asserting the existence of an uncaused, eternal, autonomous universe. This possibility is obvious to Aquinas simply on the basis of the divine attributes: “all parties are agreed that God could make something that always existed, because of the fact that his power is infinite.” (26) Aquinas deems it improbable that God  should cause the world eternally, but demands the investigation of their logical compatibility rather than an outright dismissal. “Since God’s omnipotence surpasses all understanding and power, anyone who asserts that something which in intelligible among creatures cannot be made by God, openly disparages God’s omnipotence." (27) At bottom, the Angelic Doctor seems to be arguing for free inquiry, fides quarens intellectum.

      In the first place, Aquinas finds that no logical contradiction forbids an agent not to precede an effect in duration. Causes acting instantaneously, such as fire or motion demonstrate this. Furthermore, only the will seems able to slow the causal agent, so that it need precede its effect in duration. Secondarily, he seeks to explore whether further contradiction is involved for a created thing to have never been without existence. Citing Anselm in Monologium 8, wherein that doctor uses the example of the man saddened without cause as being saddened by nothing, he immediately finds that “no order of duration is establish between what was made and nothing, as though what is made would first have to be nothing, and afterwards have to something.” (28) Continuing further, Aquinas drives a distinction between order of duration and order of nature, suggesting that the relation between uncreating and created being is analogous to that between universal and particulars. “For our position is not that, if the creature had always existed, it was nothing at some time. We maintain that its nature is such that it would be nothing if it were left to itself.” (30) A good example of this is the sun, which without duration makes the air luminous. A further example, borrowed from De Civitate Dei 10.31, is the impression made by a foot planted eternally in dust. Having raised Augustine, Thomas then proceeds to cite several esteemed philosophers, including Hugh of St. Victor and Boethius ipse: the created world, while never without existence, does not exist in the same sense of an eternal present as God, being mutable.

      While Aquinas fails to find the philosophical doctrine of the eternity of the world on purely naturalistic grounds, on theological grounds, he finds no obligation to believe in an eternally existing world. God’s will being the cause of all things, “God is under no compulsion to will anything except himself. All we can say is the world is eternal if God wills it to be so, since the existence of the world depends upon God’s will as a cause.” (31) However, revelation demands that we deny the eternity of the world: “I hold by faith alone that the world has not existed forever; this truth cannot be proven demonstrably,” any more than may the mystery of the Trinity. Simply put, “the inception of the world cannot be demonstrated from the standpoint of the world itself. (32) At bottom, for Aquinas, the problem with the Aristotelian argument for the eternity of the world is that it conflates efficient causation and creation: “The first mover was always in the same state, but the first movable things was not always been in the same state, because it began to exist, whereas previously it had not existed. However, this was brought about not by change but by creation, which is not change.” (33) Again, “[Aristotle’s] argument did not proceed from the consideration which regards the universe as taking its origin from God, but from the consideration that an agent which begins to act must itself be moved; in other words, he was thinking of a particular cause, not the universal cause.” (33)


Boethius of Dacia


      In a sense intervening between Aquinas and Siger of Brabant was Boethius of Dacia. A colleague of Siger at Paris, he would later meet a similar exile upon the Condemnation of 1277, although his later biography is unclear. Boethius’ mid 1270s treatise, yet another installment in the  De Aeternitate Mundi genere, differs markedly from the treatment of Siger, inasmuch as it makes explicit the implications of the position for the scope of philosophy’s truth-claims. At the very onset of his work, Boethius straddles philosophy and theology with corresponding obligations: one must assent to demands of revelation, in necessary, without rational justification, to avoid heresy; similarly, one must submit to reason in reference to things which are not self-evident but do admit of rational explanation, for to do otherwise would be to be unphilosophic. (34) For Boethius, unphilosophic is perhaps the key word: more than anyone else in Europe, he was target of 1277’s lead proposition, having maintained in his treatise De Summo Bono that philosophic life represented the highest natural good of man.

      Within this context, however, he shares neither Siger’s bald disregard for the implications of the quaestio, nor Aquinas’ politically hesitant skepticism (or sagacity?). Instead, recognizing the co-dependency of theology and philosophy, he seeks an alliance of mutual advantage,


so that faith’s position may be more firmly maintained, even though in certain cases it cannot be demonstrated, lest otherwise we fall into foolishness by seeking demonstration where such is not possible; or into heresy by refusing to believe that which should be held on faith and which cannot be demonstrated. (35)


Having set forth his aims, Boethius then proceeds to lay out the typical arguments against the eternity of the world, starting from the argument that the world must come after its first principle in duration. He then runs through ten more arguments, emphasizing that creation is not identical with mere generation, and noting a sort of ontological argument in that the totality of time and motion are subject to addition, by category, and are therefore not eternal. Then the philosopher reverses his course and raises a series of arguments for the eternity of the world, aiming to demonstrate that it can be eternal. Heading the list is, as one would expect, Siger’s argument that effects may be simultaneous with their causes in duration. From this, issue several arguments in favor of eternal particular effects. Boethius now shift to arguments that world actually is eternal, starting with in argument that the world is incorruptible because it is not generated, and generally recapitulating Siger’s arguments in brief, especially emphasizing that a primary will, mover, or agent is eternal and must have some eternal effect coeternal with its action. (36)

      After rehearsing counter-objections to these arguments, which he now excuses as the potential arguments of heretics, Boethius proceeds to advance upon a solution. In the first place, he insists that philosophy ought to employ reason towards whatever may be grasped by human reason: “it belongs to the philosopher to determine every sort of question which can be disputed by reason; for every question which can be disputed by rational argument falls within some part of being,” which is the province of philosophical investigation. (37) Secondarily, he asserts that the philosopher cannot show by rational arguments that the first motion and the world came to be.” The philosopher, as a natural scientist, is categorically constrained by the limits of his own science: “one skilled in a given science may prove, concede, or deny something only in terms of the principles of his own science.” (38) Furthermore, the natural world is the first principle accessible to philosophy: “although nature is not the first principle in the absolute sense, nonetheless it is the first principle in the realm of natural things.” (39) The upshot of this is that the natural philosopher altogether unable to consider creation:


For nature produces its every effect from a subject and from matter. But production from a subject and matter is generation, not creation. Therefore the natural philosopher is unable to study creation. . . . Since the making of the world and its production in beings cannot be generation, as is evident, it follows that in no part of natural science will the making of the world or its production in being be taught for production is not natural and therefore does not pertain to the natural philosopher. (40)


Boethius thus speaks in two radically different categories as philosopher and Christian. However, the natural scientist is able to be informed of the possible existence of higher causes, and ought not to assert or to deny them on the basis of reason or natural philosophy. (41)

      Does Boethius beg to break the law of non-contradiction? In his sharpest articulation: “one may say . . . both that the world and the first motion began to be and that the natural philosopher speaks the truth when he denies that the world and the first motion began to be.” (42) Again, this formulation looks exactly like impassable “double-truth,” until we remember that unbreakable category distinctions render it non-contradictory. Thus, when Boethius announces that “clearly there is no contradiction between Christian faith and philosophy concerning the eternity of the world,” he may immediately proceed “to prove that what is contrary to the truth, that is, that the world is coeternal.” (43) He develops his refutations of all of those arguments originally raised to demonstrate that the world is eternal, quite in terms of higher supernatural causes, emphasizing the will and personality of God as known through revelation. In sum, “When someone puts aside rational arguments, he immediately ceases to be a philosopher; philosophy does not rest on revelations and miracles.” (44) From this perspective, Condemnation no. 90 seems grossly unfair. “That the natural philosopher should deny without qualification that world began to be since he bases himself upon natural causes; but the believer can deny the eternity of the world because he bases himself on supernatural causes.” (45)


      In contemporary parlance, the “philosopher” of Siger and (especially) Boethius is our “hard” scientist. Their stuggles to come to terms with the relations of natural and supernatural causation are still very revelant for us as modern citzens of a technocratic age. Against the mounting imperialism of neo-Darwinian biology ,  quantum physics, and astrophysics, which  regularly leave useful hypotheses and indulge in the highest orders of metaphysical speculation,  Boethius  and Aquinas remind us that it is possible to use natural philosophy and scientific knowledge without confuting the Christian Gospel. Aristotle and his sons would seek to demand a halt to infinite regresses, but only out of convenience: infinite regresses invoke an infinite God.  Similarly,  modern philosophers of nature are left staring at the unverifiable phenomena-savers in the form of black holes and sub-atomic physics, looking at the  metaphysical limits of matter.  In particular, the  sort of hard category distinctions erected by Boethius provide an exemplary model for meaningful interaction between science and faith today:  We know God’s act of creation through our senses, and act upon this through our reason, but we cannot thereby know God as he is in himself, apart from revelation. 



(1) This classification is taken largely from John F. Wippel, “The Condemnations of 1270 and 1277 at Paris,” The Journal of Medieval and Renissance Studies 7 (1997): 173-74.

(2) Cf. H. Denifle and A. Chatelain, Chartularium Universitatis Pariensis (Paris, 1889), I:486-87; in Wipgel, “Condemnation,” 179.

(3)  “Condemnation of 219 Propositions,” E. L. Fortin and P. D. O’Neill, trans. [1277], nos. 1, 2; in Arthur Hyman and James Walsh, ed., Philosophy in the Middle Ages, 2nd ed. (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1973), 585.

(4) Ibid., no. 6.

(5) Ibid., nos. 4, 5.

(6) Ibid., no. 8.

(7) Wipgal, “Condemnation,” 191.

(8)  “Condemnation,” passim; in Hyman and Walsh, Middle Ages, 585-91.

(9) Ibid., 519.

(10) Averroes, “The Decisive Treatise Determining the Nature of the Connection between Religion and Philosophy,” G. F. Hourani, trans.; in Hyman and Walsh, Middle Ages, 305.

(11) Ibid., 305.

(12) Ibid., 306.

(13) Ibid., 306-7.

(14) C. H. Lohr, “The Medieval Interpretation of Aristotle”; in Norman Kretzmann, Anthony Kenny, and Jan Pinborg, eds., The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 90.

(15) Siger of Brabant, “De Aeternitate Mundi,” Lottie H. Kendzierski, trans.; in On the Eternity of the World: St. Thomas Aquinas, Siger of Brabant, St. Bonaventure (Milwaukee: Marquette University, 1984), 84.

(16) Idem.

(17) Idem.

(18) Ibid., 85-86.

(19) Ibid., “Introduction,” 80.

(20) Ibid., 90.

(21) Ibid., 91.

(22) Ibid., 95.

(23) Ibid., 93-94.

(24) Ibid., 94.

(25) Thomas P. Bukowski, “The Eternity of the World according to Siger of Brabant: Probable or Demonstrative?” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 36 (1969): 225-229.

(26) Thomas Aquinas, “De Aeternitate Mundi,” Cyril Vollert, trans.; in On the Eternity of the World: St. Thomas Aquinas, Siger of Brabant, St. Bonaventure (Milwaukee: Marquette University, 1984), 18.

(27) Ibid., 19.

(28) Ibid., 21.

(29) Ibid., 22.

(30) Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I.46.1; in Ibid., 61.

(31) Summa Theologica, I.46.2; in Ibid., 66.

(32) Summa Theologica, I.46.1; in Ibid., 62.

(33) Thomas Aquinas, De Potentia Dei, Question 3, Article 17; in Ibid., 52-53.

(34) Boethius of Dacia, On the Supreme Good; On the Eternity of the World; On Dreams, trans. with intro. by John F. Wippel (Toronto: Ponifical Insitute of Medieval Studies, 1987), 36.

(35) Ibid., 37.

(36) Ibid., 37-44.

(37) Ibid., 47.

(38) Idem.

(39) Idem.

(40) Ibid., 50.

(41) Cf. Ibid., 50-51.

(42) Ibid., 52.

(43) Ibid., 56-57.

(44) Ibid., 65

(45) Cited in Ibid., 18.

Religion, [Poetry], and Philosophy

Now these things can be known in two ways, either by being impressed on their souls as they really are or by being impressed on them through affinity and symbolic representation. In that case symbols arise in man's minds, which reproduce them by imitation. The philosophers in the city are those who know these things through strict demonstrations and their own insight; those who are close to the philosophers know them as they really are through the insight of the philosophers, following them, assenting to their views and trusting them. But others know them through symbols which reproduce them by imitation, because neither nature nor habit has provided their minds with the gift to understand them as they are. Both are kinds of knowledge, but the knowledge of the philosphers is undoubtedly more excellent. Some of them know them through symbols which reproduce them know them through symbols which are near to them, and some through symbols slightly more remote, and some through symbols which are even more remote from these, and some through symbols which are very remote from these. Now, these people are reproduced by imitation for each nation and for the people of each city through those symbols which are best known to them. But whch is best known often varies among nations, either most of it or part of it. Hence these things are expressed for each nation in symbols other than those used for another nation. Therefore it is possible that excellent nations and excellent cities exist whose religions differ, although they have as their goal one and the same felicity and the very same aims.

When these things thus held in common are known through strict demonstrations, no ground for disagreement by argument can be found in them, neither by introducing sophistic fallacies nor by somebody's lack of understanding: for then the point disputed would not be the thing itself but his wrong notion of it. But when they are known through symbols which reproduce them by imitation, grounds for objection may be found in the symbols, in some less, in others more, and grounds for objection will be more easily seen in some and less in others. It is not impossible that among those who know these things through symbols, there is someone who puts his finger on the grounds for objection to these symbols and holds that they are inadequate and false.

There are different kinds of these people: first those who seek the right path. When one of them rejects anything as false, he will be lifted towards a better symbol which is nearer to the truth and is not open to that objection; and if he is satisfied with it, he will be left where he is. When that better symbol also is rejected by him as false, he will be lifted to another rank, and if he is then satisfied with it, he will be left where he is. Whenever a symbol of a given standard is rejcted by him as false, he will be lifted to a higher rank, but when he rejects all the symbols as false and has the strength and gift to understand the truth, he will be made to know the truth and will be placed into the class of them who take the philosophers as their authorities. If he is not yet satisfied with that and desires to acquire philosophical wisdom and has himself the strength and gift for it, he will be made to know it.

Abu Nasr Al-Farabi, The Perfect State, trans. Richard Walzer, 17.2-4.


Total Recall indeed. LOL. Just how total was a little surprising. "Bizzare," if you listen to the BBC.


Maybe Arnold should watch Citizen Kane. LOL.

I've been reading John Finnis on Natural Law and Natural Rights.

Straussian and medievalist Charles Butterworth has an interesting set of books.

si dederit homo omnem substantiam domus suae pro dilectione quasi nihil despicient eum.