Natural Law and Public Affairs Seminar

BNLPA 2016July 13–17, 2016
Princeton, New Jersey

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, 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.

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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 graduate students interested in normative ethics and contemporary applications. Participants may but need not be versed in natural law theory. 

Application Requirements and Instructions
Please submit the following forms and documents via email to by March 15, 2016:

1. Curriculum Vitae or résumé with all previous academic and professional experience.
2. Cover Letter expressing the reasons for your interest in the seminar and discussing any relevant experience or familiarity with the topic.
3. One Letter of Recommendation from a professor with whom you have recently studied.

Please be sure that your CV or résumé includes your full name, date of birth, mailing address, email address, phone number, and nationality.

Registration Fee
There is a non-refundable $100 registration fee required of all accepted applicants. This fee covers tuition, room, and board for the duration of the seminar.

Email Felix Miller at