Law as a Moral Idea
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Oxford University Press (2007)
This book argues that the institutions of law, and the structures of legal thought, are to be understood by reference to a moral ideal of freedom or independence from the power of others. The moral value and justificatory force of law are not contingent upon circumstance, but intrinsic to its character. Doctrinal legal arguments are shaped by rival conceptions of the conditions for realization of the idea of law. In making these claims, the author rejects the viewpoint of much contemporary legal theory, and seeks to move jurisprudence closer to an older tradition of philosophical reflection upon law, exemplified by Hobbes and Kant. Modern analytical jurisprudence has tended to view these older philosophies as confused precisely in so far as they equate an understanding of law's nature with a revelation of its moral basis. According to most contemporary legal theorists, the understanding and analysis of existing institutions is quite distinct from any enterprise of moral reflection, but the relationship between ideals and practices is much more intimate than this approach would suggest. Some institutions can be properly understood only when they are viewed as imperfect attempts to realize moral or political ideals; and some ideals can be conceived only by reference to their expression in institutions
|Keywords||Law and ethics Jurisprudence Law Moral and ethical aspects|
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|Call number||K247.6.S56 2007|
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Citations of this work BETA
Tim Potier (2011). Nigel Simmonds' Law as a Moral Idea. Ratio Juris 24 (3):364-367.
Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco (2012). Social and Justified Legal Normativity: Unlocking the Mystery of the Relationship. Ratio Juris 25 (3):409-433.
Claire Grant (2012). Secret Laws. Ratio Juris 25 (3):301-317.
Roger Cotterrell (2013). The Role of the Jurist: Reflections Around Radbruch. Ratio Juris 26 (4):510-522.
David H. McIlroy (2013). When Is a Regime Not a Legal System? Alexy on Moral Correctness and Social Efficacy. Ratio Juris 26 (1):65-84.
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