Law as a moral idea • by Nigel Simmonds

Analysis 69 (2):395-397 (2009)
This is a pugnacious book, born of ancient controversy and attempting to return the debate to a time before the central jurisprudential questions were set by Hart and other legal positivists. Simmonds addresses those familiar with current analytical philosophy of law: those of us who know our Hart, Fuller, Dworkin, Raz, MacCormick and Kramer, and who perhaps need to have our attention drawn to Plato, Aristotle, Grotius, Hobbes and Kant. Presuming an informed readership, there is no bibliography, and it incorporates ‘substantial extracts from four recent essays’ , but does not say what they are. Overall, his position is that law should be understood as an attempt to realize an archetype of law, an archetype which is a moral ideal. Those suspicious of moral ideals are not likely to find moral archetypes more philosophically acceptable. Yet, if Simmonds is right, we need them in jurisprudence.Simmonds is against the positivist split between …
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anp019
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