Where Law and Morality Meet
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Oxford University Press (2008)
How are law and morality connected, how do they interact, and in what ways are they distinct? In Part I of this book, Matthew Kramer argues that moral principles can enter into the law of any jurisdiction. He contends that legal officials can invoke moral principles as laws for resolving disputes, and that they can also invoke them as threshold tests which ordinary laws must satisfy. In opposition to many other theorists, Kramer argues that these functions of moral principles are consistent with all the essential characteristics of any legal system. Part II reaffirms the legal positivist argument that law and morality are separable, arguing against the position of natural-law theory, which portrays legal requirements as a species of moral requirements. Kramer contends that even though the existence of a legal system in any sizeable society is essential for the realization of fundamental moral values, law is not inherently moral either in its effects or in its motivational underpinnings. In the final part, Kramer contests the widespread view that people whose conduct is meticulously careful cannot be held morally responsible for harmful effects of their actions. Through this argument, he reveals that fault-independent liability is present even more prominently in morality than in the law. Through a variety of arguments, Where Law and Morality Meet highlights both some surprising affinities and some striking divergences between morality and law.
|Keywords||Law and ethics|
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|Call number||K247.6.K73 2008|
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Citations of this work BETA
Bart Streumer (2007). Reasons and Impossibility. Philosophical Studies 136 (3):351-384.
Matthew H. Kramer (2012). What Is Legal Philosophy? Metaphilosophy 43 (1-2):125-134.
Matthew H. Kramer (2009). Moral Principles and Legal Validity. Ratio Juris 22 (1):44-61.
Michael Giudice (2008). The Regular Practice of Morality in Law. Ratio Juris 21 (1):94-106.
Matthew Grellette (2010). Legal Positivism and the Separation of Existence and Validity. Ratio Juris 23 (1):22-40.
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