These essays were the outgrowth of an extended series of discussions on the natural law which took place at the Center of the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara. The Fund for the Republic established this Center to ""clarify...basic questions of freedom and justice in the contemporary world"" -- and one gets the impression for 24 hours a day and 365 days in the year a group of amazingly knowledgeable and voluble gentlemen sit around discussing these basic questions. In this, their latest contribution, John Cogley provides an excellent general introduction to the subject and analyses are contributed from six different aspects:- Robert M. Hutchins (""Natural Law and Jurisprudence""); John Courtney Murray, S.J. (""...and the Public Consensus""); Scott Buchanan (""...and Teleology""); Philip Selznick (""...and Sociology""); Harvey Wheeler (""...and Human Culture""); and Robert Gordis (""...and Religion""). The springboard in this group of essays is the modern absence of criteria -- the ""moral-vacuum"" as John Cogley terms it; and when they are done there does not seem to be much left unsaid, that is on the pro side, of what Cicero defined succinctly as the ""right reason"". This -- for the average reader (if there is such a creature) -- is not so othereal as it might sound. Not only will he learn a good deal, of a practical, even a contemporary nature, but he might even enjoy it.