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Profile: Joseph Raz (Columbia University)
  1. Joseph Raz, Is There a Reason to Keep Promises.
    If promises are binding there must be a reason to do as one promised. The paper is motivated by belief that there is a difficulty in explaining what that reason is. It arises because the reasons that promising creates are content-independent. Similar difficulties arise regarding other content-independent reasons, though their solution need not be the same. -/- Section One introduces an approach to promises, and outlines an account of them that I have presented before. It forms the backdrop for the (...)
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  2. Joseph Raz, On the Guise of the Good.
    I will provisionally take the Guise of the Good thesis to consist of three propositions: (1) Intentional actions are actions performed for reasons, as those are seen by the agents. (2) Specifying the intention which makes an action intentional identifies central features of the reason(s) for which the action is performed. (3) Reasons for action are such reasons by being facts which establish that the action has some value. From these it is said to follow that (4) Intentional actions are (...)
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  3. Joseph Raz, Rescuing Jerry From (Basic) Principles.
    I will say something on two or three related but distinct topics. First, something on the grounding of normative beliefs, a topic – as I see it – in moral epistemology, and then after a brief remark on explanation, something against a certain understanding of basic principles. My observations were prompted by reflection on Jerry’s desire to rescue justice from the facts.
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  4. Joseph Raz, Reasoning with Rules.
    What is special about legal reasoning? In what way is it distinctive? How does it differ from reasoning in medicine, or engineering, physics, or everyday life? The answers range from the very ambitious to the modest. The ambitious claim that there is a special and distinctive legal logic, or legal ways of reasoning, modes of reasoning which set the law apart from all other disciplines. Opposing them are the modest, who claim that there is nothing special to legal reasoning, that (...)
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  5. Joseph Raz, The Argument From Justice, or How Not to Reply to Legal Positivism.
    Professor Robert Alexy wrote a book whose avowed purpose is to refute the basic tenets of a type of legal theory which 'has long since been obsolete in legal science and practice'. The quotation is from the German Federal Constitutional Court in 1968. The fact that Prof Alexy himself mentions no writings in the legal positivist tradition [in English] later than Hart's The Concept of Law (1961) may suggest that he shares the court's view. The book itself may be evidence (...)
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  6. Joseph Raz, The Problem of Authority: Revisiting the Service Conception.
    The problem I have in mind is the problem of the possible justification of subjecting one's will to that of another, and of the normative standing of demands to do so. The account of authority that I offered, many years ago, under the title of the service conception of authority, addressed this issue, and assumed that all other problems regarding authority are subsumed under it. Many found the account implausible. It is thin, relying on very few ideas. It may well (...)
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  7. Joseph Raz (2013). Death in Our Life. Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (1):1-11.
    This paper examines a central aspect of the relations between duration and quality of life by considering the moral right to voluntary euthanasia, and some aspects of the moral case for a legal right to euthanasia. Would widespread acceptance of a right to voluntary euthanasia lead to widespread changes in attitudes to life and death? Many of its advocates deny that, seeing it as a narrow right enabling people to avoid ending their life in great pain or total dependence, or (...)
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  8. Joseph Raz (2013). Value: A Menu of Questions. In John Keown & Robert P. George (eds.), Reason, Morality, and Law: The Philosophy of John Finnis. Oxford University Press. 13.
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  9. Joseph Raz (2011). From Normativity to Responsibility. OUP Oxford.
    What are our duties or rights? How should we act? What are we responsible for? How do we determine the answers to these questions? Joseph Raz examines and explains the philosophical issues underlying these everyday quandaries. He explores the nature of normativity--namely, the fact that we believe and feel we should behave in certain ways, the reasoning behind certain beliefs and emotions, and various basic features of making decisions about what to do. He goes on to consider when we are (...)
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  10. Joseph Raz (2010). Being in the World. Ratio 23 (4):433-452.
    Actions for which we are responsible constitute our engagement with the world as rational agents. What is the relationship between such actions and our capacities for rational agency? I take this to be a question about responsibility in a particular use of that term, which I shall call ‘responsibility2’. We are not responsible2 for all our intentional actions (actions under hypnosis, for example), but we can nevertheless be responsible2 for actions we do not adequately control, for negligent actions, and for (...)
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  11. Joseph Raz (2010). Human Rights Without Foundations. In J. Tasioulas & S. Besson (eds.), The Philosphy of International Law. Oxford University Press.
    Using the accounts of Gewirth and Griffin as examples, the article criticises accounts of human rights as those are understood in human rights practices, which regard them as rights all human beings have in virtue of their humanity. Instead it suggests that (with Rawls) human rights set the limits to the sovereignty of the state, but criticises Rawls conflation of sovereignty with legitimate authority. The resulting conception takes human rights, like other rights, to be contingent on social conditions, and in (...)
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  12. Joseph Raz (2010). On Respect, Authority, and Neutrality: A Response. Ethics 120 (2):279-301.
  13. Joseph Raz (2010). Responsibility and the Negligence Standard. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 30 (1):1-18.
    The paper has dual aim: to analyse the structure of negligence, and to use it to offer an explanation of responsibility (for actions, omissions, consequences) in terms of the relations which must exist between the action (omission, etc.) and the agents powers of rational agency if the agent is responsible for the action. The discussion involves reflections on the relations between the law and the morality of negligence, the difference between negligence and strict liability, the role of excuses and the (...)
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  14. Joseph Raz (2010). Reason, Reasons and Normativity. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 5. Oup Oxford.
  15. Joseph Raz (2010). Susan Wolf on the Meaning of Life: A Review. Ethics 121 (1).
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  16. Joseph Raz (2010). Susan Wolf, The Meaning of Life and Why It Matters. Ethics 121 (1):232.
     
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  17. Joseph Raz (2010). Wolf , Susan . The Meaning of Life and Why It Matters . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010. Pp. 160. $24.95 (Cloth). [REVIEW] Ethics 121 (1):232-236.
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  18. Joseph Raz (2009). Between Authority and Interpretation: On the Theory of Law and Practical Reason. Oxford University Press.
    Can there be a theory of law? -- Two views of the nature of the theory of law : a partial comparison -- On the nature of law -- The problem of authority : revisiting the service conception -- About morality and the nature of law -- Incorporation by law -- Reasoning with rules -- Why interpret? -- Interpretation without retrieval -- Intention in interpretation -- Interpretation : pluralism and innovation -- On the authority and interpretation of constitutions : some (...)
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  19. Joseph Raz (2009). On the Value of Distributional Equality. In Stephen De Wijze, Matthew H. Kramer & Ian Carter (eds.), Hillel Steiner and the Anatomy of Justice: Themes and Challenges. Routledge.
    The paper returns to the question whether equality in distribution is valuable in itself, or, if you like, whether it is intrinsically valuable. Its bulk is an examination of two familiar arguments against the intrinsic value of distributional equality: the levelling down objection and the objection that equality violates some person-affecting condition, in that its realisation does not improve the lot of people.
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  20. Joseph Raz (2009). Reasons : Explanatory and Normative. In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New Essays on the Explanation of Action. Palgrave Macmillan.
    A thesis familiar by being as often disputed as defended has it that intentional action is action for a reason. The present paper contributes to the defence of a weaker version of it, namely: Acting with an intention or a purpose is acting (as things appear to one) for a reason.
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  21. Joseph Raz (2009). Reasons : Practical and Adaptive. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.
    The paper argues that normative reasons are of two fundamental kinds, practical which are value related, and adaptive, which are not related to any value, but indicate how our beliefs and emotions should adjust to fit how things are in the world. The distinction is applied and defended, in part through an additional distinction between standard and non-standard reasons (for actions, intentions, emotions or belief).
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  22. Joseph Raz (2006). Darwall on Rational Care. Utilitas 18 (4):400-414.
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  23. Joseph Raz (2006). Review: The Trouble with Particularism (Dancy's Version). [REVIEW] Mind 115 (457):99 - 120.
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  24. Joseph Raz (2006). The Trouble with Particularism (Dancy's Version). [REVIEW] Mind 115 (457):99-120.
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  25. Joseph Raz (2005). Can There Be a Theory of Law? In Martin P. Golding & William A. Edmundson (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory. Blackwell Pub..
    The paper deals with the possibility of a theory of the nature of law as such, a theory which will be necessarily true of all law. It explores the relations between explanations of concepts and of the things they are concepts of, the possibility that the law has essential properties, and the possibility that the law changes its nature over time, and that what is law at a given place and time depends on the culture and concepts of that place (...)
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  26. Joseph Raz (2005). The Myth of Instrumental Rationality. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1 (1):28.
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  27. Joseph Raz (2004). Incorporation by Law. Legal Theory 10 (1):1-17.
    My purpose here is to examine the question of how the law can be incorporated within morality and how the existence of the law can impinge on our moral rights and duties, a question (or questions) which is a central aspect of the broad question of the relation between law and morality. My conclusions cast doubts on the incorporation thesis, that is, the view that moral principles can become part of the law of the land by incorporation.
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  28. Joseph Raz (2004). Personal Practical Conflicts. In Peter Baumann & Monika Betzler (eds.), Practical Conflicts: New Philosophical Essays. Cambridge. 172--196.
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  29. Joseph Raz (2004). Speaking with One Voice : On Dworkinian Integrity and Coherence. In Ronald Dworkin & Justine Burley (eds.), Dworkin and His Critics: With Replies by Dworkin. Blackwell Pub.. 285--290.
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  30. Joseph Raz (2004). The Force of Numbers. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 54:245-264.
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  31. Joseph Raz (2004). The Role of Well‐Being. Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):269–294.
    "Well-being" signifies the good life, the life which is good for the person whose life it is. I have argued that well-being consists in a wholehearted and successful pursuit of valuable relationships and goals. This view, a little modified, is defended , but the main aim of the article is to consider the role of well-being in practical thought. In particular I will examine a suggestion which says that when we care about people, and when we ought to care about (...)
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  32. Bruce Ackerman, Richard J. Arneson, Ronald Dworkin, Gerald F. Gaus, Kent Greenawalt, Vinit Haksar, Thomas Hurka, George Klosko, Charles Larmore, Stephen Macedo, Thomas Nagel, John Rawls, Joseph Raz & George Sher (2003). Perfectionism and Neutrality: Essays in Liberal Theory. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
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  33. Joseph Raz (2003). About Morality and the Nature of Law. American Journal of Jurisprudence 48 (1):1-15.
    In support of my longstanding claim that the traditional divide between natural law and legal positivist theories of law, the present paper explores a variety of necessary connections between law and morality which are consistent with theories of law traditionally identified as positivist.
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  34. Joseph Raz (2003). Aspects of Reason. Mind 112 (447):543-545.
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  35. Joseph Raz (2003). Numbers, with and Without Contractualism. Ratio 16 (4):346–367.
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  36. Joseph Raz (2003). Review: Aspects of Reason. [REVIEW] Mind 112 (447):543-545.
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  37. Joseph Raz (2003). The Practice of Value - Reply. In Jay Wallace (ed.), The Practice of Value. Oxford University Press.
    The privilege of having three sets of extensive and hard-hitting comments on one's work is as welcome as it is rare, and especially so on this occasion as the lectures were, for me, but thefirst (well, not entirely first) stab at a subject I hope to explore at greater length. The reflectionsthat follow will respond to some of the criticisms, but will not be a point by point reply. I will use the occasion to clarify some obscurities in the lectures, (...)
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  38. Joseph Raz (2003). The Practice of Value. Oxford University Press.
    The Practice of Value explores the nature of value and its relation to the social and historical conditions under which human agents live. At the core of the book are the Tanner Lectures delivered at Berkeley in 2001 by Joseph Raz, who has been one of the leading figures in moral and legal philosophy since the 1970's. Raz argues that values depend importantly on social practices, but that we can make sense of this dependence without falling back on cultural relativism. (...)
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  39. Joseph Raz (2002). On Frankfurt's Explanation of Respect for People. In Sarah Buss & Lee Overton (eds.), Contours of Agency: Essays on Themes From Harry Frankfurt. Mit Press, Bradford Books.
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  40. Joseph Raz (2001). Incommensurability and Agency. In Engaging Reason. Oxford University Press.
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  41. Joseph Raz (2001). Liberty and Trust. In Robert George (ed.), Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality: Contemporary Essays. Oup Oxford.
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  42. Joseph Raz (2001). Sorensen: Vagueness has No Function in Law. Legal Theory 7 (4):417-419.
    There is much in the paper that I agree with, much that I do not understand and am probably not competent to understand, and some which I am puzzled by. I will concentrate on the last. Both regarding puzzles, and regarding points of agreement and incomprehension, I will be selective and touch on only a few.
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  43. Joseph Raz (2001). Value, Respect, and Attachment. Cambridge University Press.
    The book is a contribution to the study of values, as they affect both our personal and our public life. It defends the view that values are necessarily universal, on the ground that that is a condition of their intelligibility. It does, however, reject most common conceptions of universality, like those embodied in the writings on human rights. It aims to reconcile the universality of value with (a) the social dependence of value and (b) the centrality to our life of (...)
     
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  44. Joseph Raz (2001). When We Are Ourselves. In Engaging Reason. Oxford University Press.
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  45. Joseph Raz (2000). The Central Conflict: Morality and Self-Interest. In Roger Crisp & Brad Hooker (eds.), Well-Being and Morality: Essays in Honour of James Griffin. Clarendon Press. 209--238.
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  46. Joseph Raz (2000). The Truth in Particularism. In Brad Hooker & Margaret Olivia Little (eds.), Moral Particularism. Oxford University Press. 48--78.
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  47. Joseph Raz (1999). Explaining Normativity: On Rationality and the Justification of Reason. Ratio 12 (4):354–379.
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  48. Joseph Raz (1999). Engaging Reason: On the Theory of Value and Action. Oxford University Press.
    Joseph Raz presents a penetrating exploration of the interdependence of value, reason, and the will. The essays illuminate a wide range of questions concerning fundamental aspects of human thought and action. The book is a summation of many years of original, compelling, and influential work by a major contemporary philosopher.
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  49. Joseph Raz (1999). The Purity of the Pure Theory. In Stanley L. Paulson (ed.), Normativity and Norms: Critical Perspectives on Kelsenian Themes. Oup Oxford.
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