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Author: René Brouwer


Grotius's notion of natural law is, as he himself makes clear, founded upon two demands of nature, which are to be connected with what is now known as the Stoic doctrine of appropriation. However, Grotius's understanding of the notion of natural law as a set of rules is not Stoic, but rather goes back to an interpretation that can be ascribed to Antiochus of Ascalon. By moving away from the Stoics Grotius could not only easily accommodate the Aristotelian doctrine of equity, otherwise rejected by the Stoics, but he could also formulate a minimalistic interpretation of human dispositions or 'rights', in contrast to the Stoics' maximalistic understanding of these dispositions as virtues.

In: Grotiana
In: Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age
Author: René Brouwer

In this paper I argue that against the political and perhaps even religiously motivated background of the Constitutio Antoniniana, in order to further enhance the appeal of Roman law, Ulpian seeks to connect law and nature by using Stoic terminology. However, his usage of this terminology is radically distinct from the perfectionist Stoic approach.

In: Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d'Histoire du Droit / The Legal History Review
Volume Editors: René Brouwer and Emmanuele Vimercati
This volume, edited by René Brouwer and Emmanuele Vimercati, deals with the debate about fate, providence and free will in the early Imperial age. This debate is rekindled in the 1st century CE during emperor Augustus’ rule and ends in the 3rd century CE with Plotinus and Origen, when the different positions in the debate were more or less fully developed. The book aims to show how in this period the notions of fate, providence and freedom were developed and debated, not only within and between the main philosophical schools, that is Stoicism, Aristotelianism, and Platonism, but also in the interaction with other, “religious” movements, here understood in the general sense of groups of people sharing beliefs in and worship of (a) superhuman controlling power(s), such as Gnosticism, Hermetism as well as Judaism and Christianity.