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A Discourse on the study of the law of nature and nations by Sir James Mackintosh M. P.

This is a great lecture given by a legal practitioner and eminent journalist who left his medical profession for the passion of law. The title itself gives good account of the content of this paper. Sir James Mackintosh lecture is distinct as he systematically approach the subject and gives the scope of the science of law of nature and nations and the extent of its overlapping with other field of social sciences. He has explained the general principles of law of nature and nations in simpler terms by giving good examples. He has explained how the rule of nature which regulates the behaviour of individuals in a society stands true for the relation between the nation states. The moral values of man were taken over by virtue and more positive term duty and its widest application by various scholars in their studies were efficiently given in a nutshell in this lecture.

This lecture reflects Sir James Mackintosh scientific approach in his studies and his observations of the great scholars like Grotius and Puffendorff and gives a good analytical insight into the development of law of nature and nations. After giving a brief account of further development of law of nations by many philosophers of different era Sir James Mackintosh has beautifully summarized the evolution of law of nations from law of nature. The simple theory deducted by Sir James Mackintosh of human nature is beneficial tendency which inspire them to form rules and follow them. Further, the institution of marriage and property developed a definite order in society and their need for mutual protection from each other gave rise to government and developed the positive law, the law of nature. The basic beneficial theory stands true for nation also explained with examples of European states.

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