Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter vi: Of the Duty of one Man to another, and first of doing no Injury to any Man - The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature
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chapter vi: Of the Duty of one Man to another, and first of doing no Injury to any Man - Samuel von Pufendorf, The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature 
The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature, trans. Andrew Tooke, ed. Ian Hunter and David Saunders, with Two Discourses and a Commentary by Jean Barbeyrac, trans. David Saunders (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).
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Of the Duty of one Man to another, and first of doing no Injury to any Man
I.Reciprocal Duties of two Sorts.We come now to those Duties which are to be practis’d by one Man towards another. Some of these proceed from that common Obligation which it hath pleas’d the Creator to lay upon all Men in general; others take their Original from some certain Human Institutions, or some peculiar,*adventitious or accidental State of Men. The first of these are always to be practis’d by every Man towards all Men; the latter obtain only among those who are in such peculiar Condition or State.32 Hence those may be called Absolute, and these Conditional Duties.
II.No wrong to be done. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 1.Among those Duties we account Absolute, or those of every Man towards every Man, this has the first Place, * that one do no Wrong to the other; and this is the amplest Duty of all, comprehending all Men as such; and it is at the same time the most easy, as consisting only in an Omission of acting, unless now and then when unreasonable Desires and Lusts are to be curb’d. It is also the most necessary, because without it Human Society cannot be preserv’d. For I can live quietly with him that does me no Good, or with whom I have no manner of Correspondence, provided he doth me no Harm. Nay this is all we desire from the greatest Part of Mankind; the doing mutually good Offices lying but among a few. But I can by no means live peaceably with him that wrongs me; Nature having instilled into every Man such a tender Love of himself and what is his own, that he cannot but by all possible means repel those Men who shall make any Attempt upon one or t’other.
III.So to do a Crime.By this Duty are fenced not only what we have by the Bounty of Nature; such as our Laws, Bodies, Limbs, Chastity, Liberty; but whatsoever by any Human Institution or Compact becomes our Property; so as by this it is forbidden to take away, spoil, damage, or withdraw, in whole or in part, from our Use, whatsoever by a lawful Title we are possess’d of. Whence all those Actions are hereby made Crimes, by which any Wrong is done to others, as Murther, Wounding, Striking, Rapine, Theft, Fraud, Violence, whether practis’d directly or indirectly, mediately or immediately, and the like.
IV.Reparation of Wrong a necessary Consequence from thence.Farther, hence it follows, That if any Harm or Damage be done to another, he who is truly chargeable as Author of the Wrong, ought, as far as in him lies, to make Reparation: For otherwise the Precept would be to no purpose, That no Man shall be hurt nor receive damage; if when he has actually sustain’d a Mischief, he must put it up quietly, and he who did the Injury shall enjoy securely the Fruit of his Violence without Reparation. And setting aside this Necessity of Restitution, the Pravity of Man’s Nature is such, that they would never forbear injuring one another, and it would be very hard for him who has suffered Wrong, to compose his Mind so as to live peaceably with the other, till Reparation were made.
V.Damage how to be accounted. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 1. §3.Tho’ the Word Damage may seem properly to belong to Loss in Goods, yet we take it here in the large Sense, that it may signifie all Manner of Harm, spoiling, diminishing, or taking away what is already ours, or intercepting that which by an absolute Right we ought to have, whether it be bestowed upon us by Nature, or given us by Man and Human Laws; or lastly, the Omission or Denial of paying what by a perfect Obligation is due to us. But if such Payment only be stopt, as was not due by any perfect Obligation, it is not looked upon as a Damage that ought to be made good: For it would be unmeet to account it a Wrong suffered if I receive not such Stipends; and unreasonable for me to demand as my Right, what I cannot expect from another but under the name of a Free Gift, and which I can by no means call my own, till after I have received it.
VI.Damage in expectations.Under the Head of Damage liable to Reparation, we must also comprise not only a Mischief, Loss or Interception of what is ours or due to us; but also such Profits as do naturally accrue from the Thing, or have already accrued, or may fairly be expected, if it was the Right of the Owner to receive them; allowing still the Expenses necessary for gathering in such Profits. Now the Value of Profits, thus in Expectation only, is to be high or low, according as they are certain or uncertain, and will be sooner or later received. And lastly, that also is to be called Damage, which upon a Hurt given, does of Natural Necessity follow thereon.
VII.Damage mediately or immediately done. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 1. §4.One Man may damnifie33 another not only immediately or by himself, but also by others: And it may happen that a Damage immediately done by one Man may be chargeable upon another, because he contributed somewhat to the Action, either by doing what he ought not, or not doing what he ought to have done. Sometimes among several Persons who concurred to the same Fact one is to be accounted the Principal, others but Accessories; sometimes they may all be equally Parties. Concerning whom it is to be observed, that they are so far obliged to repair the Wrong as they were indeed the Causes thereof, and by so much as they contributed to doing All or Part of the Damage. But where any one did not actually assist in the Trespass committed; nor was antecedently a Cause of its being done, nor had any Advantage by it; there, though upon Occasion of the Injury done, he may be blame worthy, yet he cannot be any ways obliged to Restitution: And of this Sort are such as rejoyce at their Neighbour’s Misfortunes, such as commend the Commission of Outrages, or are ready to excuse them, who wish or favour the Practice of them, or who flatter the Actors therein.
VIIIDamage done by many. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 1. §5.Where many have joined in an Action from whence Damage has come, he in the first place shall be chargeable with Reparation, by whose Command or powerful Influence the others were put upon the Action; and he who immediately perpetrates the Thing, to which he could not decline his helping Hand, shall be esteemed but only as the Instrument. He who without any constraint concerned himself in the Enterprize shall be chiefly liable, and then the rest who assisted in it. But this so, as that if Restitution be made by the former, then the latter are cleared, (which in Penal Cases is otherwise.) If many in Combination have committed an Injury, all are obliged for each one single, and each one single is obliged for all; so as that if all are seized, they must each pay their Shares to make good the Loss; and if all escape but one, he shall be obliged to pay for all; but where some amongst them are insolvent, those who are able must pay the Whole. If many, not in Combination, concur to the same Thing, and it can plainly be discerned how much each of them contributed to the doing of the Mischief; each shall only be accountable for so much as himself was the Cause of. But if one shall pay the whole, they are all discharged for the same.
IX.Damage by Negligence. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 1. §6.Not only he who out of an evil Design does wrong to another, is bound to Reparation of the Damage, but he who does so thro’ Negligence or Miscarriage, which he might easily have avoided. For it is no inconsiderable Part of social Duty,34 to manage our Conversation with such Caution and Prudence, that it does not become mischievous and intolerable to others; in order to which, Men under some Circumstances and Relations, are obliged to more exact and watchful diligence: The slightest Default in this point is sufficient to impose the Necessity of Reparation; unless the Fault lay rather more in him who was harmed, than in him who did it; or unless some great Perturbation of Mind, or some Circumstance in the Matter, would not allow the most deliberate Circumspection; * as, when a Soldier in the Heat of Battle in handling his Arms shall hurt his Comrade.
X. Damage by Chance.But he who by meer Chance, without any Fault of his own, shall do Harm to another, is not obliged to Reparation. Because nothing in this Case being done which can be chargeable upon him, † there is no Reason, why he who unwillingly did a Mischief should rather suffer, than he to whom it was done.
XI.Damage by a Vassal.It is also agreeable to Natural Equity, if my Vassal, though not by my Desire, do Wrong to another, that either I make it good, or surrender him to the Party injured. For ’tis true, this Vassal is naturally obliged to Reparation; but he not having wherewith, and his Body being the Property of his Patron, it is but just that such Patron either repair the Loss sustained, or deliver him up. Otherwise such a Bond-man would be at liberty to do what Mischief he listed, if Amends cannot be had from him, because he is the Owner of nothing, no not of the Body he bears; nor from his Patron. For, let him beat the Slave never so severely, or punish him with the closest imprisonment, that gives no Restitution to the Person wronged.
XII.Damage by Cattle.The same seems to be just in the Case of our Cattle or any living Creature we keep, that, when they against our Wills and by a Motion of their own, contrary to their Natures, do a Mischief to another, we either make Reparation, or give up the same. For if I am hurt by any Animal that lives in its Natural Liberty, I have a Right, by what means I can, to give my self Satisfaction by taking or by killing it; and this Right doubtless cannot be taken away by its being in the Possession of another. And whereas the Owner of this Animal makes some Gain by it, but I have suffered Loss by the same; and whereas the Reparation of Wrong is more to be favoured than procuring Gain; it appears that I may with reason demand Satisfaction from the Owner, or if the Animal be not worth so much, then that it at least be delivered to me on Account of the Damage sustained.
XIII.Recapitulation.Thus then, he who without any evil Intention does an Injury to another, ought of his own accord to offer Reparation, and to protest himself to have done it unwillingly, lest the injured Person take him for his Enemy, and endeavour to retaliate the Mischief. But he, who with a naughty design shall wrong his Neighbour, is not only bound to offer Reparation, but to declare his Repentance for the Fact and to beg Pardon. On the other side, the wronged Party having Satisfaction made him, is obliged, upon the Repentance of the other, and at his Request, to grant him Pardon. For he that will not be content when Reparation is made him, and a fit Submission offered, but still seeks to revenge himself by Force, does nothing else but gratifie his own ill Nature, and so disturbs the common Peace of Men without cause. And upon that account Revenge is by the Law of Nature condemned, as proposing no other End, than doing Mischief to those who have hurt us, and pleasing our selves in their Sufferings. Moreover, there is great Reason that Men should be the more apt to pardon each others Offences, upon a consideration how often themselves transgress the Laws of God, and have therefore daily so much need of begging Forgiveness of Him. [Not still but that the Publick may inflict a Punishment on the Aggressor, tho’ he have given satisfaction to the Private Man, if the Act was Criminal, and in its Nature Evil.]
[*] This Status adventitius is that State of Life we come into in consequence of some Human Constitution; whether we enter into it at our Birth immediately, or whether it happens after our Birth. Such are, for example, all those Conditions of Life where the Duties and Relations are reciprocal; such as a Parent and his Child, an Husband and a Wife, a Master and a Servant, a Sovereign and his Subject. &c. [Barbeyrac’s I.1, p. 111.]
[32.]The key to understanding Pufendorf’s division of duties to others lies in his doctrine that duties attach not to human beings as such—that is, not to a human substance or essence—but to a particular condition, state, or status that humans occupy. This is defined at the beginning of Book II: “By ‘state’ [status] in general, we mean a condition in which men are understood to be set for the purpose of performing a certain class of actions” (Tully, ed., Duty, p. 115). All of the states of man and their associated duties are thus understood to be imposed or instituted, rather than to be expressions of an essence. The common or universal duties to others attach to man’s natural status which was imposed by God. These are discussed in Chapters VI (to harm no one), VII (to treat others as equals or fellow humans), and VIII (to practice benevolence). The artificial or adventitious statuses are those men have imposed on themselves via pacts, which means that their duties are conditional on particular institutional arrangements. These states are those of linguistic communication, property ownership, marriage, parenthood, and, especially, the political state. In between the natural and adventitious duties to others come the duties relating to pacts, discussed in Chapter IX of Book I.
[*] See Grotius de Jure Belli & Pacis, lib. 2. and the whole 17th Chapter.
[34.]Here Tooke’s “social Duty” translates Pufendorf’s socialitas, or “sociability.”
[*] See Grotius de Jure Belli & Pacis, lib. 3. c. 1. §4.
[†] See Grotius de Jure Belli & Pacis, lib. 3. c. 1. §5.