Max Weber's concept of the iron cage has become a byword in the scholarly world since the publication in 1930 of Talcott Parsons' translation of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism . What is less well-known is that Jules Verne had earlier used the iron cage metaphor in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1869) to reveal the paradoxes of modernity. Roland Barthes criticized Verne's vision of modernity as bourgeois and positivistic, pointing out his narrow-minded enthusiasm for (...) futuristic technology. In this essay, I argue that Verne's originality lies precisely in his equivocal attitude towards modernity with its high technology. Verne, I suggest, does not reject technological modernity, but by dissecting it he reveals its propelling forces, high demands and price. He shows that the Enlightenment's Rule of Reason is, in the end, governed by the ancient passions of fear, bitterness and the thirst for revenge. It is this combination that makes the human condition tragic. Verne's Homeric imagination creates an epic hero—Captain Nemo—who personifies the remarkable alliance of modern science and ancient heroism. (shrink)
Until recently the most prominent defender of the openness of God was Charles Hartshorne. Evangelical thinkers are now defending similar ideas while being careful to distance themselves from the less orthodox dimensions of process theology. An overlooked figure in the debate is Jules Lequyer. Although process thinkers have praised Lequyer as anticipating their views, he may be closer in spirit to the evangelicals because of the foundational nature of his Catholicism. Lequyer’s passionate defense of freedom conceived as a creative (...) act as well as the theological implications he drew from this are examined for their relevance to the present discussion of the openness of God. (shrink)
Jules Michelet: Vico and the origins of nationalism -- James Joyce: Vico and the origins of modernism -- Erich Auerbach: Vico and the origins of historism -- Isaiah Berlin: Vico and the origins of pluralism.
Jules Coleman, one of the world's leading philosophers of law, here presents his most mature work so far on substantive issues in legal theory and the appropriate methodology for legal theorizing. In doing so, he takes on the views of highly respected contemporaries such as Brian Leiter, Stephen Perry, and Ronald Dworkin.
In this essay, I characterize the original intervention that became Inclusive Legal Positivism, defend it against a range of powerful objections, explain its contribution to jurisprudence, and display its limitations and its modest jurisprudential significance. I also show how in its original formulations ILP depends on three notions that are either mistaken or inessential to law: the separability thesis, the rule of recognition, and the idea of criteria of legality. The first is false and is in event inessential to legal (...) positivism. The second is inessential to legal positivism. The third is likely inessential to law. I then characterize the central claim of ILP in a way that relies on none of these: ILP is the claim that necessarily social facts determine the determinants of legal content. I show that ILP so conceived leaves the central debates in law largely untouched. I suggest how the most fundamental of these—the question of the normativity of law—at least can be usefully addressed. The essay closes by suggesting that even though one can distinguish the social from the normative dimensions of law, a theory of the nature of law is necessarily an account of the relationship between the two: It is a theory either of the difference that certain distinctive social facts make in normative space, or it is an account of the distinctive normative difference that law makes, and the social and other facts that are necessary to explain that difference. One can distinguish between but one cannot separate the social from the normative aspects of legality. (shrink)
Should the state punish its disadvantaged citizens who have committed crimes? Duff has recently argued that where disadvantage persists the state loses its authority to hold individuals to account and to punish for criminal wrongdoings. I here scrutinize Duff’s argument for the claim that social justice is a precondition for the legitimacy of state punishment. I sharpen an objection to Duff’s argument: with his framework, we seem unable to block the implausible conclusion that where disadvantage persists the state lacks the (...) authority to punish any citizen for any crime. I then set out an alternative line of argument in support of the claim that social deprivation can threaten the states legitimate punitive authority. I argue that a penal system must incorporate certain proportionality principles, and that these principles cannot both be met where citizens suffer from deprivation. (shrink)
For several decades the work of Joel Feinberg has been the most influential in legal, political, and social philosophy in the English-speaking world. This volume honours that body of work by presenting fifteen original essays, many of them by leading legal and political philosophers, that explore the problems that have engaged Feinberg over the years. Amongst the topics covered are issues of autonomy, responsibility, and liability. It will be a collection of interest to anyone working in moral, legal, or political (...) philosophy. (shrink)
Relational conceptions of autonomy attempt to take into account the social aspects of autonomous agency. Those views that incorporate not merely causally, but constitutively necessary relational conditions, incorporate a condition that has the form: (RelAgency) A necessary condition for autonomous agency is that the agent stands in social relations S. I argue that any account that incorporates such a condition (irrespective of how the relations, S, are spelt out) cannot play one of autonomy’s key normative roles: identifying those agents who (...) ought to be protected from (hard) paternalistic intervention. I argue, against objections from Oshana, that there are good reasons for maintaining the notion of autonomy in this role, and thus that such relational conceptions should not be accepted. This rejection goes beyond that from John Christman, which holds only for those relational conditions which are value-laden. (shrink)
It is not usually morally permissible to desire the suffering of another person, or to act so as to satisfy this desire; that is, to act with the aim of bringing about suffering. If the retributive emotions, and the retributive responses of which they are a part, are morally permitted or even required, we will need to see what is distinctive about them. One line of argument in this paper is for the conclusion that a retributive desire for the suffering (...) of the wrong-doer, and the aim to bring this about, can (contra recent arguments from Hanna 2008) be morally justified. -/- It has been suggested that by reflecting on the role of the retributive emotions in interpersonal relationships, and the alleged legitimacy of the aim for the suffering of the wrong-doer within them, support can be garnered for retributive practices of punishment by the state (Duff 1986 and 2001, Bennett 2002 and 2003). The conclusion of the second line of argument in the paper is that whilst the retributive responses can permissibly aim at suffering, the way in which this is so in interpersonal relationships cannot provide support for retributive state punishment. (shrink)
Many philosophers take the view that, while coercion is a prominent and enduring feature of legal practice, its existence does not reflect a deep, constitutive property of law and therefore coercion plays at best a very limited role in the explanation of law's nature. This view has become more or less the orthodoxy in modern jurisprudence. I argue that an interesting and plausible possible role for coercion in the explanation of law is untouched by the arguments in support of the (...) orthodox view. Since my main purpose is to clear the ground for the alternative, I spell out the orthodox view in some detail. I then briefly sketch the alternative. Finally, I turn to Jules Coleman's discussion of the alternative. (shrink)
It is usually appropriate for adults to make significant decisions, such as about what kinds of medical treatment to undergo, for themselves. But sometimes impairments are suffered - either temporary or permanent - which render an individual unable to make such decisions. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out the conditions under which it is appropriate to regard an individual as lacking the capacity to make a particular decision (and when provisions should be made for a decision on their behalf). (...) -/- To what extent does having capacity require the endorsement of certain values? Drawing on Owens et al (2009), I assess the extent to which understanding relevant information and weighing it in coming to a decision requires certain evaluative commitments. With reference to literature on anorexia nervosa and decisions informed by religious beliefs, I argue that it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the conditions for capacity are value-laden, and that if this is so it is important to open discussion about which patterns of distorted valuing undermine capacity, and why. (shrink)
In two fascinating papers, Jules Coleman has been considering an idea, first articulated and defended by Scott Shapiro in his forthcoming book Legality , that law calls for a moral semantics. In a recent paper, Coleman argues it is a conceptual truth that legal content stating behavioral requirements, whether construed as propositions or imperatives, can "truthfully be redescribed as expressing a moral directive or authorization" ( Coleman 2007 , 592). For example, the directive "mail fraud is illegal" expresses , (...) if not that mail fraud is morally wrong, then the idea that we have a content-independent moral reason for not committing mail fraud. In this essay, I will attempt to explicate and evaluate Coleman's arguments, as well as to determine what the "Redescription Thesis," as I call it, amounts to. (shrink)
metaphysics of modality. So, we read David Kaplan in 1967: I'll even let you peep through my Jules Verne-o-scope [into another possible world G]. Carefully examine each individual, check his fingerprints, etc. The problem is: which one is our Bobby Dylan—of course he may be somewhat changed, just as he will be in our world in a few years…Our problem is [to] locate him in G (if he exists there). The task of locating individuals in other worlds is the (...) problem of determining transworld heir lines. I will flatly assert that this problem is the central problem of philosophical interest in the development of intensional logic. The clearest statements of the "problem" came from those who thought that, ultimately. (shrink)
In this article I discuss a number of issues raised by Professor Jules Coleman's recent article "Beyond the Separability Thesis." I suggest, to begin, that Coleman is correct that neither a narrow nor a broad formulation of the separability thesis takes us very far towards a robust distinction between legal positivism and legal non-positivism. I then offer a brief discussion of methodology in jurisprudence, suggesting that Coleman accepts, at least implicitly, what I call a "methodology of necessary features." Since (...) there is reason to think that law possesses some necessary features that are non-normative (or descriptive) and others that are moral in character, the promise of this pluralistic approach is that it will be capable of bridging the gap between so-called "descriptive" and "normative" theories of methodology in jurisprudence. Since the distinction between descriptive and normative methodological theories is sometimes taken to be one way, among others, of drawing a distinction between positivist and non-positivist theories of law, the pluralism of the "methodology of necessary features" gives us yet one more reason to think that the distinction between positivism and non-positivism is not a theoretically fundamental one. Finally, I discuss Coleman's "moral semantics claim," i.e., the idea that "legal content is best understood as moral directives about what is to be done and who is to decide what is to be done." Coleman acknowledges that the moral semantics claim, when taken together with the social facts thesis, raises a well-known problem: How can social facts create content-independent reasons for action? I suggest that we are most likely to find the answer to this question by focusing directly on whether or not law's claimed moral authority—meaning its claimed moral power—can be justified, rather than by focusing indirectly, as many theorists have done, on the existence or non-existence of a general obligation to obey the law. (shrink)
Greg Kavka (1947-1994) was a prominent and influential figure in contemporary moral and political philosophy. The new essays in this volume are concerned with fundamental issues of rational commitment and social justice to which Kavka devoted his work as a philosopher. The essays take Kavka's work as a point of departure and seek to advance the respective debates. The topics include: the relationship between intention and moral action as part of which Kavka's famous 'toxin puzzle' is a focus of discussion, (...) the nature of deterrence, the rationality of morals, contractarian ethics, and the contemporary relevance of Hobbes' political thought. Incorporating important new philosophical statements of problems and fresh contributions to the ongoing debate about rational intention this volume will interest not just philosophers but also political scientists and economists. (shrink)
I here focus on two debates about the conditions for self-governance. In one, the metaphysical debate, theorists are concerned with the potential threat that causal determinism poses to self-governance. In another, the relational debate, theorists are concerned with the potential threat that certain social conditions—especially those that are oppressive to certain social groups—pose to self-governance. MacKenzie and Stoljar have suggested (2000) that the concerns of these two debates do not intersect. In this chapter, I draw out the connections between the (...) two debates, arguing that certain views in the relational debate are in tension with certain commitments in the metaphysical debate. I look at a relational condition for autonomous agency from Paul Benson (1994), extrapolate from the cases discussed by Langton (1993) in the literature on speech acts some relational conditions for autonomous action, and examine the formulation of relational conditions for autonomous choice (Stoljar 2000). I argue that each of these views sits in tension with positions in the metaphysical debate (hard determinism, libertarianism, and (more broadly) incompatibilism, respectively). Thus the concerns of the two debates do intersect. Moreover, if these tensions cannot be resolved, then the relational debate brings to bear important considerations in assessing the plausibility of the views in the metaphysical debate. (shrink)
Substantive accounts of autonomy place value constraints on the objects of autonomous choice. According to such views, not all sober and competent choices can be autonomous: some things simply cannot be autonomously chosen. Such an account is developed and appealed to, by Thomas Hill Jr, in order to explain the intuitively troubling nature of choices for deferential roles. Such choices are not consistent with the value of self-respect, it is claimed. In this paper I argue that Hill's attempt to explain (...) the problem with such a choice, and Marcia Baron's interpretation and defence of his view, fail in this task. The troubling nature of some choices for deference cannot be explained in terms of a substantive self-respect condition for autonomy. (shrink)
One approach to legal theory is to provide some sort of rational reconstruction of all or of a large body of the common law. For philosophers of law this has usually meant trying to rationalize a body of law under one or another principle of justice. This paper explores the efforts of the leading tort theorists to provide a moral basis — for the law of torts. The paper is divided into two parts. In the first part I consider and (...) reject the view that tort law is best understood as falling either within the ambit of the principle of retributive justice, a comprehensive theory of moral responsibility, or an ideal of fairness inherent in the idea that one should impose on others only those risks others impose on one. The second part of the paper distinguishes among various conceptions of corrective or compensatory justice and considers arguments — including previous arguments by the author himself — to the effect that tort law is best understood as rooted in principles of corrective justice. This paper argues that although the use of principles of justice may render defensible many (but by no means all) of the claims to repair and to liability recognized in torts, it cannot explain why we have adopted a tort system as the approach to vindicating those claims. Some other principle — probably not one of justice — is needed to explain why it is that the victims claims to repair is satisfied by having his losses shifted to his injurer — rather than through some other means of doing so. The paper concludes that the law of torts cannot be understood — in the sense of being given a rational reconstruction — under any one principle of morality. (shrink)
Analyzing Law offers an important selection of the most influential and challenging work now being done in legal theory. A central focus of the essays in this work is the contribution of the well-known philosopher Jules Coleman to the various topics which are covered by the contributors.
In his work, Jules Coleman has held that the rule of recognition, if conceived of as a shared cooperative activity, should be the gateway through which to incorporate moral constraints on the content of law. This analysis, however, leaves unanswered two important questions. For one thing, we do not know when or even why morality becomes a criterion of legality. And, for another thing, we still do not know what conception of morality it is that we are dealing with. (...) In this article, we will attempt to clarify in greater depth what relations there are between the social practice of law and morality. We will thus see how the cooperative nature of social practices imbues law with a moral force, and how this makes it possible to establish a "weak" connection between law and morality: To see this, we will need to single out some basic features of cooperative social practices, thus setting out a suitable framework for the view just mentioned. (shrink)