The Case of the Speluncean Explorers: Nine New Opinions

Routledge (1998)
The Case of the Speluncean Explorers by Lon Fuller first appeared in the Harvard Law Review in 1949. It has since become the most famous fictitious legal case in the US and is used widely by law schools. The case revolves around an episode in the year 4,300. A band of explorers become trapped in a cave and are forced to cannibalize a member of their team. When they are rescued, five Supreme Court judges provide opinions on what should be done with them. Peter Suber has added nine new opinions along feminist, communitarian, economic, constructionist, postmodern theories of law. The complete Fuller article is included in the beginning of the book. Why read this book? One reason is to get beyond sloganeering about "judicial activism" and "activist judges". The book is an enjoyable and even-handed way to understand what the debate is about. It doesn't tell you what to think, but illustrates the contending positions and lets you think for yourself. It will show you how judges with different moral and political beliefs interpret written law, how they use precedents, how they conceive the proper role of judges, how they conceive the relationship between law and morality, and how they defend their judicial practices against criticism. It anchors all of this in a Supreme Court hearing of a gripping, concrete case on which real people disagree. (Challenge: Take any view of how judges should interpret law, especially any view that makes it sound easy, and try it out on this case. How well can it respect the facts and law? How well can it answer the objections from judges who take other views? How well does it deliver justice?) The book uses no jargon and assumes no prior knowledge of law or legal philosophy.
Keywords Law Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $16.65 used (63% off)   $22.89 new (48% off)   $43.95 direct from Amazon    Amazon page
Call number K230.F842.S8 1998
ISBN(s) 0415185459   9780415185462   0415185467   9780415185455  
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,734
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

58 ( #78,927 of 1,937,444 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #70,613 of 1,937,444 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.