First Principles: Natural Law and the Theologico-political Question Seminar

July 9–22, 2017
Princeton, New Jersey

First Principles: Natural Law and the Theologico-political Question is a two-week seminar in Princeton, New Jersey, for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. The seminar focuses on the relation between natural law and the theologico-political question, that is, the question of the best way of life, enshrined in the best laws, supported by the best form of political regime. This year’s seminar will include a special section devoted to Etienne Gilson’s genealogy of the loss of the metaphysical realism that undergirds the natural law tradition in his celebrated 1936 William James Lectures at Harvard, The Unity of Philosophical Experience.

Students will examine this relation in the works of Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, Etienne Gilson, Harry Jaffa, selected works from the Vatican on political life , and selected speeches and documents from the American Founding and Civil War. 

Click here to view the First Principles flyer.

Thomas D. D’Andrea, University of Cambridge
Geoffrey Vaughan, Assumption College
Travis Curtright , Ave Maria University

This seminar is open to advanced undergraduate and pre-dissertation graduate students with interests in natural law and moral and political philosophy.

Application Requirements and Instructions
Please follow this link for application information. The application deadline is April 24, 2017.

Registration Fee
There is a non-refundable $400 registration fee required of all accepted applicants. This fee covers tuition, room, and board for the duration of the seminar.

Email Felix Miller at