Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 September 2021
The chapter uncovers the role that Grotius’ philosophy of virtues plays in defining and renegotiating the sphere of law in peace; its distinct roles during and after war; the conditions in which Grotius used virtues as a benchmark to correct and evolve law; and the conditions in which he thought that law can rightfully ignore the calls of virtue. Grotius’ function for virtue in law is then compared to conventional roles assigned to religion in correcting and stimulating law. The chapter brings out the coherence of Grotius’ theory of virtue and law as he applied it to diverse real-life problems and themes, ranging from Iberian-Dutch encounters through his justification of free trade to the doctrinal minimalism that Grotius regarded as the best chance of saving the United Provinces from religious strife. The distinctive rights and duties of sovereigns, magistrates, soldiers, slaves, citizens and Christians are finally explained in light of Grotius’ virtue - law dynamic.