What can a medieval friar teach us about the internet?
deriving criteria of justice for cyberlaw from thomist natural law theory
This paper applies a very traditional position within Natural Law Theory to Cyberspace. I shall first justify a Natural Law approach to Cyberspace by exploring the difficulties raised by the Internet to traditional principles of jurisprudence and the difficulties this presents for a Positive Law Theory account of legislation of Cyberspace. This will focus on issues relating to geography. I shall then explicate the paradigm of Natural Law accounts, the Treatise on Law, by Thomas Aquinas. From this account will emerge the structure of law and the metaphysics of justice. I shall explore those aspects of Cyberspace which cause geography to be problematic for Positive Law Theory and show how these are essential, unavoidable and beneficial. I will then apply Aquinas's structure of law and metaphysics of justice to these characteristics. From this will emerge an alternative approach to cyberlaw which has no problem with the nature of Cyberspace as it is but treats it as a positive foundation for new legal developments.
Dainow, B. (2013). What can a medieval friar teach us about the internet?: deriving criteria of justice for cyberlaw from thomist natural law theory. Philosophy & Technology 26 (4), pp. 459-476.
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