17th Century Natural Rights Theorists

About this Collection

The 17th century was an important period in the development of natural law theories. The crises and revolutions of the mid-century prompted many thinkers to see civil and economic relations as being based on natural law and natural rights, independent of the monarch or the church. These thinkers laid the foundation for the further secularization of natural law theories in the Enlightenment of the 18th century and the revolutions which came out of that, namely the American and French Revolutions.

Key People

Titles & Essays

A – Z List

General Works


History Of Scholarship And Learning. The Humanities


Philosophy (General)


Philosophy, Psychology, And Religion


Social Sciences



Women’s Rights

Mary Wollstonecraft on Women’s Education

Mary Wollstonecraft

Notes About This Collection

For more information see:

  • Brian Tierney, The Idea of Natural Rights (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2001).
  • Stephen Buckle, Natural Law and the Theory of Property: Grotius to Hume (Oxford: Claredon Press, 1991).
  • Roscoe Pound, The Ideal Element in Law (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).
  • Heinrich A. Rommen, The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy, trans. Thomas R. Hanley. Introduction and Bibliography by Russell Hittinger (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1998).