Front Page Titles (by Subject) DEFINITION II: By the object of moral actions is meant all that with which they deal. - Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence
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DEFINITION II: By the object of moral actions is meant all that with which they deal. - Samuel von Pufendorf, Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence 
Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence, translated by William Abbott Oldfather, 1931. Revised by Thomas Behme. Edited and with an Introduction by Thomas Behme (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2009).
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By the object of moral actions is meant all that with which they deal.
1. In the next place, this object itself partakes of the designation of morality, and, considered in this respect, is itself also called moral. Concerning this in general it must be noted that its morality depends on imposition, that is, on the decision of free agents as such, and these free agents either of their own free will, or from some congruence of the nature of a thing with imposed morality, together with a tacit or expressed mutual agreement which has been entered into, have imposed morality upon things and persons, and have determined that definite effects should follow it.1 And this is a consideration which can be applied even to the morality of the actions themselves. But there due note must be made of the fact that, when morality is said naturally to inhere in a certain action, this is not to be understood as though it meant that the morality results from the physical principles of the thing or from the very nature of the action in itself; but that it does not derive its origin from the arbitrary imposition of men, but only from the disposition of God himself, who has so formed the nature of man that particular actions of necessity are or are not congruent with this nature.2 And, of a truth, that He made man in this fashion and not in another depended entirely upon His own will. But if the morality of actions which are called naturally honourable or base were to derive their origin from the nature of these acts in themselves, and not from the will of the Creator, to which, nevertheless, the nature of the rational creature has been attuned, no reason could be given why particular acts may be moral for men, although they are not moral for brutes. So, moreover, that state of man which is called a state of nature is in fact so from imposition, yet not the arbitrary imposition of men, but that of the Creator himself, who destined men thereto at their very creation.
2. Now one object of moral actions is suppositive, the other positive, at least in a moral sense. The former is called status; the latter is divided commonly into persons and things.3
[1. ] Pufendorf’s distinction of natural and moral entities and his doctrine of the latter’s production by imposition goes back to Erhard Weigel. See Analysis Aristotelica, sect. I, chap. iii, §2.
[2. ] Pufendorf here turns against the doctrine of perseitas, that certain actions are noble or base in themselves without any antecedent imposition, a point advocated by Hugo Grotius in JBP, I.i.10. That subject also plays a major role in Pufendorf’s struggle with Protestant orthodoxy. See his criticism of Valentin Veltheim in Eris, “Specimen controversiarum . . .,” chap. v.
[3. ] This threefold division originates in Roman law. See Justinian, Digests, vols. 2–11 of The Civil Law, trans. Samuel Parsons Scott (Cincinnati: Central Trust Company, 1932), I.v.1 (hereafter known as Dig.): “Gaius, Institutes, Book I. All the law that we make use of relates either to persons, things, or actions.”