Natural Law and Public Affairs Seminar

July 15-19, 2015
Princeton, New Jersey
(Click here for flier)

APPLICATION DUE DATE: The application period has closed. Applicants can expect to receive notice of a decision by e-mail by March 16, 2015.

The last several decades have witnessed a revival of natural law theory among English-speaking moral and legal philosophers. This ethical tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas offers a compelling alternative to the Kantian and consequentialist systems that have dominated modern moral philosophy. It also provides powerful rational defenses of moral principles often identified as Judeo-Christian, but common also to many great Muslim as well as ancient Greek and Roman thinkers—indeed, principles dominant for centuries throughout the West. 

This seminar will begin by engaging contemporary analytic work on the foundations and methods of natural-law moral reasoning. But the better part of it will be spent examining arguments that apply natural-law insights to a variety of moral and political issues, including religious liberty and the role of the state; justice in commerce and in communication; just war and capital punishment; abortion and euthanasia; and marriage and sexuality.

Robert P. George, Princeton University
Christopher Tollefsen, University of South Carolina
Ryan T. Anderson, The Heritage Foundation
Sherif Girgis, The Witherspoon Institute

The seminar is for advanced undergraduate and early graduate students interested in normative ethics and contemporary applications. Participants may but need not be versed in natural law theory. 

Application Form

Registration Fee
There is a $100 registration fee required of all accepted applicants, covering room and board for the duration of the seminar.

For questions, please e-mail John Doherty (