La ley natural en Domingo de Soto
Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Ramos-Lissón , Domingo. ""La ley natural en Domingo de Soto"". Persona y Derecho, 2 (1975) : 605-626.
At first glance, Domingo de Soto appears as an author who is included in a Thomistic line of thought. Understandably, however, we are not dealing with a mere commentator of questions treated by Aquinas, but rather with an author of treatises who undertakes the task of making a synthesis between the Thomistic legacy and the scientific problematic of his own epoch. This he accomplishes with great systematic coherence and precise exemplification. Soto affirms with priority the existence of natural law deriving from eternal law. He studies its notional classification fo"owing the procedure of the distinctions. Natural law, according to him, although not substantia"y a habit is to be found in us in the form of ahabit -as the ensemble of those things which have to be practised. It do es not appear that Soto was very interested in giving a definition of natural law. It is very probable that he accepted Saint Thomas' formulation, although there al so exists the possibility that Soto gives atrue definition -or at least a passing reference- when he writes: -Haec est lex naturalis: eorum scilicet principiorum quae absque discursu lumine naturali per se nota sunt •. (De iustitia et lure, 1, q. 3, a. 1; 1, p. 22). The content of natural law, according to our author, is as much configurated by those principies which are perceived by themselves (per se nota), as by those which are such for us (quoad nos). Soto al so studies the properties of natural law: universality, immutability and indispensability. But he also stands out -in our opinion- for the clarification which he makes with regard to the important and highly debated subject of indispensability, separating this property from the acts of free divine disposition, and placing it in a logical line of dependence upon immutability. In summary, Soto presents a very complete vision of natural law, without faIIing into jus naturae exagerations, nor limiting himself neither to the field of pure principies.
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