For, as Aeschines hath well distinguished, To die is not so terrible, as to bear the infamy that attends some kinds of deaths. But those are, on all accounts, to be exempted from the crime of self-murder, who lay violent hands on themselves, under any disease robbing them of the use of reason. On this point we have a famous saying of Plato, in Phaedo, frequently mentioned with honour and commendation by Christian writers: … We are placed, as it were, upon the guard, in life; and a man must not rid himself of this charge or basely desert his post. Pufendorf’s three main natural law works (including the early EJU) were also reprinted and retranslated in the early twentieth century as part of the Carnegie Endowment’s Classics of International Law series, and are still occasionally reissued in this form (Pufendorf 1995a–d, 1995 g–h, 2009). We conceive it then to be lawful, that a man may either give himself as a surety for another, especially for an innocent and worthy person, or as a hostage for the safety of many, in the case of treaties; upon pain of suffering death, if either the accused person does not appear, or the treaty be not observed. A lifelong quarrel with Leibniz which began over the pamphlet Severinus de Monzambano somewhat undermined his influence in Germany. For ‘tis weakness to fly and to avoid those things which are hard and painful to be undergone. It was here that Pufendorf published his major work, Of the Law of Nature and Nations (1672). Pufendorf’s works were standards for students of history and law, but fell into obscurity after the 18th century. These conflicts highlighted the struggle for political control between various European monarchs and the Roman Catholic Church. It is our business to examine what seems most agreeable in this case, to the law of nature. Samuel Pufendorf was a pivotal figure in the early German Enlightenment. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Pufendorf held the secular view that natural law and ethical principles stem from human reason, and that law and ethics should concern man in his social context. The pamphlet caused a sensation by directly challenging the organization of the Holy Roman Empire, denouncing in the strongest terms the faults of the house of Austria, and attacking with vigor the politics of the ecclesiastical princes. ‘Tis a noble saying of Socrates in Plato’s Apology, In whatever station a man is fixed, either by his own choice, as judging it the best, or by the command of his superior; in that he ought resolutely to continue, and to undergo any danger that may assault him there; reckoning neither death nor any other evil so grievous, as cowardice and infamy. © Oxford University Press, 2018. His father Esaias Elias Pufendorf from Glauchau was a Lutheran pastor, and Samuel Pufendorf himself was destined for the ministry. During this period he wrote Einleitung zur Historie der vornehmsten Reiche und Staaten, also the Commentarium de rebus suecicis libri XXVI., ab expeditione Gustavi Adolphi regis in Germaniam ad abdicationem usque Christinae and De rebus a Carolo Gustavo gestis. But since by the universal consent of all wise men it is acknowledged, that the Almighty Creator made man to serve him, and to set forth his glory in a more illustrious manner, by improving the good things committed to his trust; and since Society, for which a man is sent into the world, cannot be well exercised and maintained, unless every one, as much as in him lies, takes care of his own preservation; (the safety of the whole society of mankind, being a thing unintelligible, if the safety of each particular member were an indifferent point), it manifestly appears, that a man by throwing aside all care of his own life, though he cannot properly be said to injure himself, yet is highly injurious both to Almighty God, and to the general body of mankind. For besides that the common inclination of mankind is an argument to the contrary, we might allege the testimony of witnesses beyond all exception, allowing a man to be always dearest to himself, and charity still to begin at home. In 1670 Pufendorf was called to the University of Lund. Pufendorf was influenced by Thomas Hobbes, who also placed emphasis on “nature” as a basis for ethical relationships. Book II, Ch. How passionately every man loves his own life, and how heartily he studies the security and preservation of it, is evident beyond dispute. Such a law Diodorus Siculus reports to have been in force amongst the inhabitants of the island Ceylon, ordaining, “That the people should live only to such a number of years, which being run out, they eat a certain herb that put them into their long sleep, and dispatched them without the least sense of pain.” And thus too amongst the C[r]eans, all persons above sixty years old, were obliged by the laws to poison themselves, to supply food for the rest. “Any man must, inasmuch as he can,” he wrote, “cultivate and maintain toward others a peaceable sociality that is consistent with the native character and end of humankind in general.” Peace, however, was insecure, and “just war” was sometimes necessary to secure and maintain it. Published under the cover of a pseudonym at Geneva in 1667, it was supposed to be addressed by a gentleman of Verona, Severinus de Monzambano, to his brother Laelius. University of California, San Diego, 2006. The theory was important because, by distinguishing church from state while preserving the essential supremacy of the state government, it prepared the way for the principle of religious toleration. On the Duties of Man Towards Himself in the Cultivation of his Mind as well as in the Care of his Body and of his Life. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. Pufendorf was concerned with reconciling the political theories of the early Enlightenmentwith Christia… It remains that we examine, whether or no a man, at his own free pleasure, either when he grows weary of life, or on the account of avoiding some terrible impending evil, or some ignominious and certain death, may hasten his own fate, as a remedy to his present or to his future misfortunes. Samuel von Pufendorf [Puffendorf], Of the Law of Nature and Nations, tr. To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here: The history of this article since it was imported to New World Encyclopedia: Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed. And here we may take it first of all to be true beyond dispute, that since men both can and ought to apply their pains to the help and service of another; and since some certain kinds of labour, and an overstraining earnestness in any, may so affect the strength and vigour of a man, as to make old age and death come on much sooner, than if he had passed his days in softness, and in easy pursuits; any one may, without fault, voluntarily contract his life in some degree, upon account of obliging mankind more signally, by some extraordinary services and benefits. Pufendorf strongly defended the idea that international law is not restricted to Christendom, but constitutes a common bond between all nations because all nations form part of humanity.


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