Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION II - A Methodical System of Universal Law: Or, the Laws of Nature and Nations
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SECTION II - Johann Gottlieb Heineccius, A Methodical System of Universal Law: Or, the Laws of Nature and Nations 
A Methodical System of Universal Law: Or, the Laws of Nature and Nations, with Supplements and a Discourse by George Turnbull. Translated from the Latin by George Turnbull, edited with an Introduction by Thomas Albert and Peter Schröder (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008).
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What is called a law in moral philosophy.Now, in the same sense, that in these, and other parts of natural philosophy, certain settled methods, according to which nature operates, are laws to human arts; in the same sense must any other connexions in nature be laws to other human arts, or laws to other human actions, if they are the established means or orders, according to which certain other ends can only be attained by us. If therefore there are any other ends distinct from those called natural ends, or the ends of mechanical arts; which, to distinguish them from the latter, may properly be called moral ends; the established connexions in nature with regard to the attainment of these latter ends, will be, properly speaking, the connexions which constitute means to moral ends; and the science of these means and ends will be properly called moral philosophy. And this philosophy will naturally divide itself into the same parts as natural philosophy does; i.e. into the part which investigates the connexions or laws of nature, and reduces effects into them; and the part which shews how certain ends may be attained by human art or action, in consequence of the settled laws of nature; the first of which is justly denominated a theoretical, and the other a practical science. So that as there are two parts in natural philosophy, one of which rests in the explication of phaenomena, by reducing them into laws of nature already found out by induction from experiments; and the other of which directs human labour in pursuing ends for the conveniency or ornament of life; in like manner, there are two parts of moral philosophy, one of which is employed in investigating by experiments the laws according to which phaenomena of the moral kind are produced, and in reducing other phaenomena into these laws so ascertained; and the other consists in deducing rules for human conduct in the pursuit of certain moral ends from the established connexions and laws of nature relative to them.
What is meant by moral ends and means.It cannot be said, that we here take it for granted, without any proof, that there are moral ends and means; for in the sense we have hitherto used moral, we have taken nothing for granted, but that there are certain phaenomena or certain ends and means, which are distinct from those commonly called natural, physical, or mechanical. And hardly will it be called into question, that there are phaenomena, and means and ends, which do not fall within the definition of those which are the object of natural philosophy. Who will deny that there are phaenomena, means and ends relative to our understanding and temper; relative to progress in knowledge, to the acquisition of habits, to constitution of civil society, and many other such like effects, which do not all belong to what is properly called natural philosophy? In short, none will say that the regulation of our affections and actions, in order to promote our own happiness, or the common happiness of mankind, is not an end quite distinct from that proposed in physics. And this being granted, we have gained all we plead for at present, which is, that if there be other ends, for attaining to which there are established means by nature, besides those considered in natural philosophy, such as the regulation of our inward affections, &c; these may be called moral ends, to distinguish them from the objects of natural philosophy. And by whatever name they are called, they are a very proper subject of enquiry for man. For it must be granted in general, to be a very proper sub-ject of human study, to enquire into all the good ends within human power, and into the established means, in order to the attainment of them. And all such establishments or connexions in nature, are, with regard to men, principles or laws, according to which they must act, if they would attain to certain ends; no end, of whatever kind, being otherwise attainable by us, than as it is the effect of certain means, or as there are certain laws constituting a certain order of operation, according to which it may be attained. All such connexions are therefore in the same sense laws of nature; and do no otherwise differ from one another, but as their respective distinct ends, physical and moral, differ. Let not, however, what hath been said be understood as if the laws of nature, with regard to the attainments of moral ends, had not a title to be called moral laws in another peculiar sense, which cannot belong to any other laws of nature. For we shall by and by see that they have. But if what hath been said be true, whatever other titles the laws of nature relative to moral ends, may, or may not deserve, it is certain that these laws highly merit our attention. And the following general conclusion, with regard to us, must, in consequence of what hath been premised, be incontrovertible.