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Profile: Matthew Henry Kramer (Cambridge University)
  1. Matthew H. Kramer (2015). The Purgative Rationale for the Death Penalty: Replies to Steiker and Danaher. Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (2):379-394.
    This article defends my 2011 book “The Ethics of Capital Punishment” against the thoughtful critiques written by Carol Steiker and John Danaher respectively. It does not attempt to respond to every point of contention in the two critiques, but concentrates instead on a few of the main points from each of them.
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  2. Matthew H. Kramer (2014). Legal Responses to Consensual Sexuality Among Adults: Through and Beyond the Harm Principle. In C. G. Pulman (ed.), Hart on Responsibility.
  3. Matthew H. Kramer (2014). Torture and Moral Integrity: A Philosophical Enquiry. OUP Oxford.
    The morality of interrogational torture has been the subject of heated debate in recent years. In explaining why torture is morally wrong, Kramer engages in deep philosophical reflections on the nature of morality and on moral conflicts.
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  4. Matthew H. Kramer (2013). Hart, HLA. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell
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  5. Matthew H. Kramer (2013). In Defense of Hart. In Wil Waluchow & Stefan Sciaraffa (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of the Nature of Law. OUP Oxford 22.
    In Legality Scott Shapiro seeks to provide the motivation for the development of his own elaborate account of law by undertaking a critique of H.L.A. Hart's jurisprudential theory. Hart maintained that every legal system is underlain by a rule of recognition through which officials of the system identify the norms that belong to the system as laws. Shapiro argues that Hart's remarks on the rule of recognition are confused and that his model of lawis consequently untenable. Shapiro contends that a (...)
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  6. Matthew H. Kramer (2013). Retributivism in the Spirit of Finnis. In John Keown & Robert P. George (eds.), Reason, Morality, and Law: The Philosophy of John Finnis. Oxford University Press 167.
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  7. Matthew H. Kramer (2013). Some Doubts About Alternatives to the Interest Theory of Rights. Ethics 123 (2):245-263.
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  8. Matthew H. Kramer (2012). Michael Moore on Torture, Morality, and Law. Ratio Juris 25 (4):472-495.
    During the past few decades, Michael Moore has written incisively on an array of matters concerning the relationships between law and morality. While reflecting on those relationships, he has plumbed the nature of morality itself in impressive depth. Among the topics which he has addressed, the problem of torture has been prominent and controversial. It is a problem, moreover, that has led to some of his most searching enquiries into the character of moral obligations. In the present essay I take (...)
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  9. Matthew H. Kramer (2012). What Is Legal Philosophy? Metaphilosophy 43 (1-2):125-134.
    This article delineates some of the main issues that are debated by philosophers of law. It explores the connections between legal philosophy and other areas of philosophy, while also seeking to specify the distinctiveness of many of the concerns that have preoccupied philosophers of law. It illustrates its abstract points with examples focused on the separability of law and morality, the nature of the rule of law, the nature of rights, justifications for the imposition of punishment, and the identification of (...)
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  10. Rowan Cruft, Matthew H. Kramer & Mark R. Reiff (eds.) (2011). Crime, Punishment, and Responsibility: The Jurisprudence of Antony Duff. Oxford University Press.
    This volume collects essays by leading criminal law theorists to explore the principal themes in his work.
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  11. Matthew H. Kramer (2011). Freedom and the Rule of Law. In Jerzy Stelmach & Bartosz Brożek (eds.), The Normativity of Law. Copernicus Center Press
     
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  12. Matthew H. Kramer (2011). The Ethics of Capital Punishment: A Philosophical Investigation of Evil and its Consequences. OUP Oxford.
    Taking a fresh look at a central controversy in criminal law theory, The Ethics of Capital Punishment presents a rationale for the death penalty grounded in a theory of the nature of evil and the nature of defilement. Original, unsettling, and deeply controversial, it will be an essential reference point for future debates on the subject.
     
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  13. Stephen De Wijze, Matthew H. Kramer & Ian Carter (eds.) (2009). Hillel Steiner and the Anatomy of Justice: Themes and Challenges. Routledge.
    Throughout the English-speaking world, and in the many other countries where analytic philosophy is studied, Hillel Steiner is esteemed as one of the foremost contemporary political philosophers. This volume is designed as a festschrift for Steiner and as an important collection of philosophical essays in its own right. The editors have assembled a roster of highly distinguished international contributors, all of whom are eager to pay tribute to Steiner by focusing on topics on which he himself has concentrated. Some of (...)
     
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  14. Matthew H. Kramer (2009). Consistency is Hardly Ever Enough: Reflections on Hillel Steiner's Methodology. In Stephen De Wijze, Matthew H. Kramer & Ian Carter (eds.), Hillel Steiner and the Anatomy of Justice: Themes and Challenges. Routledge
  15. Matthew H. Kramer (2009). Moral Principles and Legal Validity. Ratio Juris 22 (1):44-61.
    Two recent high-quality articles, including one in this journal, have challenged the Inclusivist and Incorporationist varieties of legal positivism. David Lefkowitz and Michael Giudice, writing from perspectives heavily influenced by the work of Joseph Raz, have endeavored—in sophisticated and interestingly distinct ways—to vindicate Raz's contention that moral principles are never among the law-validating criteria in any legal system nor among the laws that are applied as binding bases for adjudicative and administrative decisions in such a system. The present article (...)
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  16. Matthew H. Kramer (2009). Moral Realism as a Moral Doctrine. Wiley-Blackwell.
    In this major new book, Matthew Kramer seeks to establish two main conclusions.
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  17. Matthew H. Kramer (2009). Brian Leiter: Naturalizing Jurisprudence: Essays on American Legal Realism and Naturalism in Legal Philosophy. Criminal Law and Philosophy 3 (1):107-110.
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  18. Ian Carter & Matthew H. Kramer (2008). How Changes in One's Preferences Can Affect One's Freedom (and How They Cannot): A Reply to Dowding and Van Hees. Economics and Philosophy 24 (1):81-96.
    How is a person's freedom related to his or her preferences? Liberal theorists of negative freedom have generally taken the view that the desire of a person to do or not do something is irrelevant to the question of whether he is free to do it. Supporters of the “pure negative” conception of freedom have advocated this view in its starkest form: they maintain that a person is unfree to Φ if and only if he is prevented from Φ-ing by (...)
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  19. Matthew H. Kramer (2008). Contents Versus Existence-Conditions: A Brief Reply to John Morss. American Journal of Jurisprudence 53 (1):101-103.
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  20. Matthew H. Kramer (2008). Is Law's Conventionality Consistent with Law's Objectivity? Res Publica 14 (4):241-252.
    Legal positivism’s multi-faceted insistence on the separability of law and morality includes an insistence on the thoroughly conventional status of legal norms as legal norms. Yet the positivist affirmation of the conventionality of law may initially seem at odds with the mind-independence of the existence and contents and implications of legal norms. Mind-independence, a central aspect of legal objectivity, has been seen by some theorists as incompatible with the mind-dependence of conventions. Such a perception of incompatibility has led some anti-positivist (...)
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  21. Matthew H. Kramer (2008). Review of Arthur Ripstein (Ed.), Ronald Dworkin. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (1).
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  22. Matthew H. Kramer (ed.) (2008). The Legacy of H.L.A. Hart: Legal, Political, and Moral Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    This book is the product of a major British Academy Symposium held in 2007 to mark the centenary of the birth of H.L.A. Hart, the most important legal philosopher and one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century. -/- The book brings together contributions from seventeen of the world's foremost legal and political philosophers who explore the many subjects in which Hart produced influential work. Each essay engages in an original analysis of philosophical problems that were tackled (...)
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  23. Matthew H. Kramer (ed.) (2008). The Legacy of H. Oxford University Press.
     
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  24. Matthew H. Kramer (2008). The Quality of Freedom. OUP Oxford.
    In his provocative book Matthew Kramer offers a systematic theory of freedom that challenges most of the other major contemporary treatments of the topic.
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  25. Matthew H. Kramer (2008). Wilfrid E. Rumble, Doing Austin Justice: The Reception of John Austin's Philosophy of Law in Nineteenth-Century England (London and New York: Continuum, 2005), Pp. XI + 270. [REVIEW] Utilitas 20 (2):252-254.
  26. Matthew H. Kramer (2008). When Is There Not One Right Answer? American Journal of Jurisprudence 53 (1):49-68.
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  27. Matthew H. Kramer (2008). Where Law and Morality Meet. Oxford University Press.
    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 (...)
     
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  28. Ian Carter, Matthew H. Kramer & Hillel Steiner (eds.) (2007). Freedom: A Philosophical Anthology. Blackwell Pub..
    Edited by leading contributors to the literature, Freedom: An Anthology is the most complete anthology on social, political and economic freedom ever compiled. Offers a broad guide to the vast literature on social, political and economic freedom. Contains selections from the best scholarship of recent decades as well as classic writings from Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Kant among others. General and sectional introductions help to orient the reader. Compiled and edited by three important contributors to the field.
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  29. Matthew H. Kramer (2007). Objectivity and the Rule of Law. Cambridge University Press.
    What is objectivity? What is the rule of law? Are the operations of legal systems objective? If so, in what ways and to what degrees are they objective? Does anything of importance depend on the objectivity of law? These are some of the principal questions addressed by Matthew H. Kramer in this lucid and wide-ranging study that introduces readers to vital areas of philosophical enquiry.
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  30. Matthew H. Kramer (2007). Why The Axioms and Theorems of Arithmetic Are Not Legal Norms. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 27 (3):555-562.
    Ronald Dworkin has long criticized legal positivists for their efforts to distinguish between legal and non-legal standards of conduct that are incumbent on people. Recently, Dworkin has broached this criticism in his hostile account of the debates between Incorporationist Legal Positivists and Exclusive Legal Positivists. Specifically, he has maintained that Incorporationists cannot avoid the unpalatable conclusion that the axioms and theorems of arithmetic are legal norms. This article shows why such a conclusion is indeed avoidable and why Dworkin's criticism is (...)
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  31. Matthew H. Kramer & Hillel Steiner (2007). Theories of Rights: Is There a Third Way? Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 27 (2):281-310.
    Some important recent articles, including one in this journal, have sought to devise theories of rights that can transcend the longstanding debate between the Interest Theory and the Will Theory. The present essay argues that those efforts fail and that the Interest Theory and the Will Theory withstand the criticisms that have been levelled against them. To be sure, the criticisms have been valuable in that they have prompted the amplification and clarification of the two dominant theories of rights; but (...)
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  32. Matthew H. Kramer (2005). Legal and Moral Obligation. In Martin P. Golding & William A. Edmundson (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory. Blackwell Pub. 179--190.
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  33. Matthew H. Kramer (2005). Moral Rights and the Limits of the Ought-Implies-Can Principle: Why Impeccable Precautions Are No Excuse. Inquiry 48 (4):307 – 355.
    This essay argues against the commonly held view that "ought" implies "can" in the domain of morality. More specifically, I contest the notion that nobody should ever be held morally responsible for failing to avoid the infliction of any harm that he or she has not been able to avoid through all reasonably feasible precautions in the carrying out of some worthwhile activity. The article explicates the concept of a moral right in order to show why violations of moral rights (...)
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  34. Matthew H. Kramer (2003). Essere liberi senza avere scelta. Filosofia Oggi 8 (1):51.
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  35. Matthew H. Kramer (2003). On the Counterfactual Dimension of Negative Liberty. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (1):63-92.
    This article explores some implications of the counterfactual aspect of freedom and unfreedom. Because actions can be unprevented even if they are not undertaken, and conversely because actions can be prevented even if they are not attempted and are thus not overtly thwarted, any adequate account of negative liberty must ponder numerous counterfactual chains of events. Each person's freedom or unfreedom is affected not only by what others in fact do, but also by what they are disposed to do. Their (...)
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  36. Matthew H. Kramer (2002). Throwing Light on the Role of Moral Principles in the Law: Further Reflections. Legal Theory 8 (1):115-143.
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  37. Matthew H. Kramer (2001). Dogmas and Distortions: Legal Positivism Defended. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 21 (4):673-701.
    In a recent full‐length review of Matthew Kramer's In Defense of Legal Positivism, David Dyzenhaus has attacked legal positivists' accounts of adjudication and their views of the relationship between law and morality. The present essay defends legal positivism against his strictures, by arguing that he has misunderstood specific texts and the general lines of enquiry which the positivists pursue.
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  38. Matthew H. Kramer (2001). Freedom, Unfreedom and Skinner's Hobbes. Journal of Political Philosophy 9 (2):204–216.
  39. Matthew H. Kramer (2001). On the Unavoidability of Actions: Quentin Skinner, Thomas Hobbes, and the Modern Doctrine of Negative Liberty. Inquiry 44 (3):315 – 330.
    During the past few decades, Quentin Skinner has been one of the most prominent critics of the ideas about negative liberty that have developed out of the writings of Isaiah Berlin. Among Skinner?s principal charges against the contemporary doctrine of negative liberty is the claim that the proponents of that doctrine have overlooked the putative fact that people can be made unfree to refrain from undertaking particular actions. In connection with this matter, Skinner contrasts the present-day theories with the prototypical (...)
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  40. Matthew H. Kramer (ed.) (2001). Rights, Wrongs, and Responsibilities. Palgrave.
    In this wide-ranging investigation of leading issues in contemporary legal and political philosophy, distinguished philosophers and legal theorists tackle issues such as the rights of animals, the role of public-policy considerations in legal reasoning, the appropriateness of compensation as a means of rectifying mishaps and misdeeds, the extent of individuals' responsibility for the consequences of their choices, and the culpability of failed attempts to commit crimes.
     
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  41. Matthew H. Kramer, N. E. Simmonds & Hillel Steiner (2000). A Debate Over Rights. Mind 109 (436):954-956.
    The authors of this book engage in essay form in a lively debate over the fundamental characteristics of legal and moral rights. They examine whether rights fundamentally protect individuals' interests or whether they instead fundamentally enable individuals to make choices. In the course of this debate the authors address many questions through which they clarify, though not finally resolve, a number of controversial present-day political debates, including those over abortion, euthanasia, and animal rights.
     
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  42. Margaret Gilbert, Andrew Mason, Elizabeth S. Anderson, J. David Velleman, Matthew H. Kramer, Michele M. Moody‐Adams & Martha C. Nussbaum (1999). 10. Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr., On Race and Philosophy Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr., On Race and Philosophy (Pp. 454-456). Ethics 109 (2).
     
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  43. Matthew H. Kramer (1999). Another Look at the Problem of the Unexpected Examination. Dialogue 38 (03):491-.
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  44. Matthew H. Kramer (1999). Coming to Grips with the Law. Legal Theory 5 (2):171-200.
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  45. Matthew H. Kramer (1999). In Defense of Legal Positivism: Law Without Trimmings. Oxford University Press.
    This book is an uncompromising defense of legal positivism that insists on the separability of law and morality. After distinguishing among three facets of morality, Kramer explores a variety of ways in which law has been perceived as integrally connected to each of those facets. The book concludes with a detailed discussion of the obligation to obey the law--a discussion that highlights the strengths of legal positivism in the domain of political philosophy as much as in the domain of jurisprudence.
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  46. Matthew H. Kramer (1999). In the Realm of Legal and Moral Philosophy: Critical Encounters. St. Martin's Press.
     
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  47. Matthew H. Kramer (1999). Requirements, Reasons, and Raz: Legal Positivism and Legal Duties. Ethics 109 (2):375-407.
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  48. Matthew H. Kramer (1998). A Debate Over Rights: Philosophical Enquiries. Clarendon Press.
    This collection of essays forms a lively debate over the fundamental characteristics of legal and moral rights. The essays examine whether rights fundamentally protect individuals' interests or whether they instead fundamentally enable individuals to make choices.
     
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  49. Matthew H. Kramer & Nigel E. Simmonds (1998). No Better Reasons: A Reply to Alan Gewirth. Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (1):131-139.
    Alan Gewirth has propounded a moral theory which commits him to the view that prescriptions can appropriately be addressed to people who have neither any moral reasons nor any prudential reasons to follow the prescriptions. We highlight the strangeness of Gewirth's position and then show that it undermines his attempt to come up with a supreme moral principle.
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  50. Matthew H. Kramer (1997). Hobbes and the Paradoxes of Political Origins. St. Martin's Press.
    This book expounds an analytical method that focuses on paradoxes - a method originally associated with deconstructive philosophy, but bearing little resemblance to the interpretive techniques that have come to be designated as 'deconstruction' in literary studies. The book then applies its paradox-focused method as it undertakes a sustained investigation of Thomas Hobbe's political philosophy. Hobbes's theory of the advent and purpose of government turns out to reveal the impossibility of the very developments which it portrays as indispensable.
     
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