This collection of contemporary essays by a group of well-known philosophers and legal theorists covers various topics in the philosophy of law, focusing on issues concerning liability in contract, tort, and criminal law. The book is divided into four sections. The first provides a conceptual overview of the issues at stake in a philosophical discussion of liability and responsibility. The second, third, and fourth sections present, in turn, more detailed explorations of the roles of notions of liability and responsibility in (...) contracts, torts, and punishment. The collection not only presents some of the most challenging work being done in legal philosophy today, it also demonstrates the interdisciplinary character of the field of philosophy of law, with contributors taking into account recent developments in economics, political science, and rational choice theory. This thought-provoking volume will help to shed light on the underexplored ground that lies between law and morals. (shrink)
The Concept of Law is the most important and original work of legal philosophy written this century. First published in 1961, it is considered the masterpiece of H.L.A. Hart's enormous contribution to the study of jurisprudence and legal philosophy. Its elegant language and balanced arguments have sparked wide debate and unprecedented growth in the quantity and quality of scholarship in this area--much of it devoted to attacking or defending Hart's theories. Principal among Hart's critics is renowned lawyer and political philosopher (...) Ronald Dworkin who in the 1970s and 80s mounted a series of challenges to Hart's Concept of Law. It seemed that Hart let these challenges go unanswered until, after his death in 1992, his answer to Dworkin's criticism was discovered among his papers. In this valuable and long-awaited new edition Hart presents an Epilogue in which he answers Dworkin and some of his other most influential critics including Fuller and Finnis. Written with the same clarity and candor for which the first edition is famous, the Epilogue offers a sharper interpretation of Hart's own views, rebuffs the arguments of critics like Dworkin, and powerfully asserts that they have based their criticisms on a faulty understanding of Hart's work. Hart demonstrates that Dworkin's views are in fact strikingly similar to his own. In a final analysis, Hart's response leaves Dworkin's criticisms considerably weakened and his positions largely in question. Containing Hart's final and powerful response to Dworkin in addition to the revised text of the original Concept of Law, this thought-provoking and persuasively argued volume is essential reading for lawyers and philosophers throughout the world. (shrink)
Peter Morton provides in these pages a fundamental critique of the assumptions of positivist jurisprudence and also puts forth an attack on the foundationalism of contemporary legal philosophy. His prime concern is to distinguish between the different fields of law--penal, civil, and public--taking as his starting point a careful analysis of those institutions in a democracy wherein legal language and norms are in fact generated. Offering an original, coherent, and systematic exposition of law in today's society, Morton sheds new light (...) on legal practices and relations by way of a comparison with an ideal type of legal system. (shrink)
Recent work in artificial intelligence has increasingly turned to argumentation as a rich, interdisciplinary area of research that can provide new methods related to evidence and reasoning in the area of law. Douglas Walton provides an introduction to basic concepts, tools and methods in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence as applied to the analysis and evaluation of witness testimony. He shows how witness testimony is by its nature inherently fallible and sometimes subject to disastrous failures. At the same time such (...) testimony can provide evidence that is not only necessary but inherently reasonable for logically guiding legal experts to accept or reject a claim. Walton shows how to overcome the traditional disdain for witness testimony as a type of evidence shown by logical positivists, and the views of trial sceptics who doubt that trial rules deal with witness testimony in a way that yields a rational decision-making process. (shrink)
Privacy is a puzzling concept. From the backyard to the bedroom, everyday life gives rise to an abundance of privacy claims. In the legal sphere, privacy is invoked with respect to issues including abortion, marriage, and sexuality. Yet privacy is surrounded by a mire of theoretical debate. Certain philosophers argue that privacy is neither conceptually nor morally distinct from other interests, while numerous legal scholars point to the apparently disparate interests involved in constitutional and tort privacy law. By arguing that (...) intimacy is the core of privacy, including privacy law, Inness undermines privacy skepticism, providing a strong theoretical foundation for many of our everyday and legal privacy claims, including the controversial constitutional right to privacy. (shrink)
This book addresses three major questions about law and legal systems: (1) What are the defining and organizing forms of legal institutions, legal rules, interpretive methodologies, and other legal phenomena? (2) How does frontal and systematic focus on these forms advance understanding of such phenomena? (3) What credit should the functions of forms have when such phenomena serve policy and related purposes, rule of law values, and fundamental political values such as democracy, liberty, and justice? This is the first book (...) that seeks to offer general answers to these questions and thus gives form in the law its due. The answers not only provide articulate conversancy with the subject but also reveal insights into the nature of law itself, the oldest and foremost problem in legal theory and allied subjects. (shrink)
This book articulates a systematic vision of an international legal system grounded in the commitment to justice for all persons. It provides a probing exploration of the moral issues involved in disputes about secession, ethno-national conflict, "the right of self-determination of peoples," human rights, and the legitimacy of the international legal system itself. Buchanan advances vigorous criticisms of the central dogmas of international relations and international law, arguing that the international legal system should make justice, not simply peace among states, (...) a primary goal, and rejecting the view that it is permissible for a state to conduct its foreign policies exclusively according to what is in the "national interest." He also shows that the only alternatives are not rigid adherence to existing international law or lawless chaos in which the world's one superpower pursues its own interests without constraints. This book not only criticizes the existing international legal order, but also offers morally defensible and practicable principles for reforming it. Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination will find a broad readership in political science, international law, and political philosophy. (shrink)
When accidents occur and people suffer injuries, who ought to bear the loss? Tort law offers a complex set of rules to answer this question, but up to now philosophers have offered little by way of analysis of these rules. In eight essays commissioned for this volume, leading legal theorists examine the philosophical foundations of tort law. Amongst the questions they address are the following: how are the notions at the core of tort practice (such as responsibility, fault, negligence, due (...) care, and duty to repair) to be understood? Is an explanation based on a conception of justice feasible? How are concerns of distributive and corrective justice related? What amounts to an adequate explanation of tort law? This collection will be of interest to professionals and advanced students working in philosophy of law, social theory, political theory, and law, as well as anyone seeking a better understanding of tort law. (shrink)
Rights have become,in recent years, a significant concern of legal theorists, as well as of those involved in moral and political philosophy. This new book seeks to move a number of debates forward by developing the analysis of rights and focusing upon more general theoretical considerations relating to rights. The book is divided into five parts. The first includes an explanation of the part played by conceptual analysis within jurisprudence, while the second conducts a re-examination of Hohfeld’s analysis of rights. (...) This part deals with the arguments advanced by a number of modern theorists including Hart, White and MacCormick. The third part contains the author’s own framework for discussing rights, including examples drawn from tort, constitutional law and international law, together with an analysis of Unger’s theory of rights. Part four centres on the perceived conflict between Dworkin, Rawls and Nozick as the defenders of a rights approach, and Bentham as the champion of utilitarianism and concludes that neither deals with the fundamental concerns of morality on which their theories are based. The fifth part consists of a conclusion which reflects on the key themes and considers the role of rights within general theory. For students, particularly helpful features of the book are the overt consideration of jurisprudential methodology and the opportunity to examine a number of key theorists linked by their divergent views on the subject of rights. (shrink)
Bijural services as factors of production -- Commentary A on Breton and Salmon -- Commentary B on Breton and Salmon -- The challenge of incomplete law and how different legal systems respond -- Commentary C on Pistor and Xu -- Commentary D on Pistor and Xu -- Coevolution as an influence in the development of legal systems -- Commentary E on Breton and Des Ormeaux -- Commentary F on Breton and Des Ormeaux -- The demand for bijurally trained Canadian lawyers (...) -- Commentary G on Davis and Trebilcock -- Commentary H on Davis and Trebilcock. (shrink)
Echoing the debate about the nature of law that has dominated legal philosophy for several decades, this volume includes essays on the nature of law and on law not as it is but as it should be. Wherever possible, essays have been chosen that have provoked direct responses from other legal philosophers, and in two cases these responses are included. Contributors include H.L.A. Hart, R.M. Dworkin, Lord Patrick Devlin, John Rawls, J.J. Thomson, J. Finnis, and T.M. Scanlon.
The core of this book is a novel theory of distributive justice premised on the fundamental moral equality of persons. In the light of this theory, Rakowski considers three types of problems which urgently require solutions-- the distribution of resources, property rights, and the saving of life--and provides challenging and unconventional answers. Further, he criticizes the economic analysis of law as a normative theory, and develops an alternative account of tort and property law.
This collection of original essays on the theory of tort law brings together a number of the world's leading legal philosophers and tort scholars to examine the latest thinking about its rationales and current development. The contributions here range from law and economics to the latest in rights-based theories. The ever-engaging topic of causation is the subject of one cluster of essays, while other clusters deal with remedies, with the tort/contract divide, and with strict and other special forms of liability.
Powerful emotion and pursuit of self-interest have many times led people to break the law with the belief that they are doing so with sound moral reasons. This study is a comprehensive philosophical and legal analysis of the gray area in which the foundations of law and morality clash. This objective book views these oblique circumstances from two perspectives: that of the person who faces a possible conflict between the claims of morality and law and must choose whether or not (...) to obey the penal code; and that of the people who make and uphold laws and must decide whether to treat someone with a moral claim to disobey differently from ordinary lawbreakers. In examining the extent of the obligations owed by citizens to their government, Greenawalt concentrates on the possible existence of a single source of obligation that reaches all citizens and all laws. He also discusses techniques of amelioration of punishment for conscientious lawbreakers, asking how far legal systems should go to accomodate individuals who break the law for reason of conscience. Drawing from numerous examples of conflicts between law and morality, Greenawalt illustrates in detail the positions and predicaments of potential lawbreakers and lawmakers alike. (shrink)
This new edition of a standard reference of jurisprudence has been fully revised. Many recent developments which touch on the relationship of laws to morals--homosexuality, obscenity, suicide, and abortion--are discussed, together with controversial economic aspects of modern legislation on such as topics as restrictive trade practices and trade unions.
The aim of this collection of essays on legal positivism is to complete the already easily available English material on this subject. This is not a collection of writings by legal positivists, but about legal positivism.
The current legal and political context is perhaps more congenial than ever before to considering claims made by minorities for the protection of some aspect of their identity. This book argues that diverse societies depend for their success on having courts and legislatures which are capable of assessing these identity claims in a fair and transparent manner. Despite the ubiquity of these claims today, how public decision makers assess minority identity claims in the course of decision making is only vaguely (...) understood and mostly ignored in normative political theory and public policy analysis. This book examines several key approaches used by national and international institutions to assess the identity claims of religious, cultural, and Indigenous minorities today. It takes up the central challenges to the public assessment of identity claims which raise concerns about the incommensurability and questionable authenticity of such claims, and about the risks of essentializing and domesticating the identities of the people who advance identity claims. It develops a guide to aid in the fair assessment of identity claims which is grounded on the requirements that public institutions must respect what people claim is deeply important to their self understandings and ways of life without merely accepting such claims at face value or deferring to claimants in every case, and public institutions must have the capacity to reflect on their own unfair biases. The guide developed in this book aims at interrogating the strength of any identity claim on bases that are respectful of differences without being blinded by them. (shrink)
In this cutting edge volume. Dennis Patterson has put together a collection of essays on the topic of law and justice in postmodern society. While trying to avoid a singular point of view for this compilation, Patterson has carefully chosen articles which highlight common themes, problems, and questions.
What is law? Does it have a purpose? What is its relationship with justice? Do we have a moral duty to obey the law? These sorts of questions lie at the heart of jurisprudence. Moreover, every substantive or 'black letter' branch of the law raises questions about its own meaning and function. The law of contract cannot be properly understood without an appreciation of the concepts of rights and duties. The law of tort is directly related to several economic theories (...) of compensation. The criminal law is inextricably linked to philosophies of punishment? Understanding Jurisprudence explores these problems and provides an engaging introduction to the central issues of legal theory. The book navigates the reader through legal philosophy's fundamental concepts, concerns, and controversies. An experienced teacher of jurisprudence and distinguished writer in the field, Professor Wacks adopts an approach that is easy to follow and understand without avoiding the complexities and subtleties of the subject. Students of law, politics, philosophy, and other social sciences will find this an ideal guide to the essential themes of contemporary jurisprudence. Online Resource Centre A free online resource accompanies the book and provides the following resources: Analysis of current controversies of a jurisprudential nature such as current legal and moral controversies and political debates An additional chapter providing guidance and advice on the study of jurisprudence An interactive glossary of key terms relating to legal theory Further reading, including links to full text journal articles Questions and answers Useful Web links to support learning. (shrink)
This collection of essays by one of America's leading legal theorists is unique in its scope: it shows how traditional problems of philosophy can be understood more clearly when considered in terms of law, economics, and political science.
Would you want to be operated on by a surgeon trained at a medical school that did not evaluate its students? Would you want to fly in a plane designed by people convinced that the laws of physics are socially constructed? Would you want to be tried by a legal system indifferent to the distinction between fact and fiction? These questions may seem absurd, but there are theories being seriously advanced by radical multiculturalists that force us to ask such questions. (...) These scholars assert that such concepts as truth and merit are inextricably racist and sexist, that reason and objectivity are merely sophisticated masks for ideological bias, and that reality itself is nothing more than socially constructed mechanism for preserving the power of the ruling elite. In Beyond All Reason, liberal legal scholars Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry mount the first systematic critique of radical multiculturalism as a form of legal scholarship. Beginning with an incisive overview of the origins and basic tenets of radical multiculturalism, the authors critically examine the work of Derrick Bell, Catherine MacKinnon, Patricia Williams, and Richard Delgado, and explore the alarming implications of their theories. Farber and Sherry push these theories to their logical conclusions and show that radical multiculturalism is destructive of the very goals it wishes to affirm. If, for example, the concept of advancement based on merit is fraudulent, as the multiculturalists claim, the disproportionate success of Jews and Asians in our culture becomes difficult to explain without opening the door to age-old anti-Semitic and racist stereotypes. If historical and scientific truths are entirely relative social constructs, then Holocaust denial becomes merely a matter of perspective, and Creationism has as much "validity" as evolution. The authors go on to show that rather than promoting more dialogue, the radical multiculturalist preferences for legal storytelling and identity politics over reasoned argument produces an insular set of positions that resist open debate. Indeed, radical multiculturalists cannot critically examine each others' ideas without incurring vehement accusations of racism and sexism, much less engage in fruitful discussion with a mainstream that does not share their assumptions. Here again, Farber and Sherry show that the end result of such thinking is not freedom but a kind of totalitarianism where dissent cannot be tolerated and only the naked will to power remains to settle differences. Sharply written and brilliantly argued, this book is itself a model of the kind of clarity, civility, and dispassionate critical thinking which the authors seek to preserve from the attacks of the radical multiculturalists. With far-reaching implications for such issues as government control of hate speech and pornography, affirmative action, legal reform, and the fate of all minorities, Beyond All Reason is a provocative contribution to one of the most important controversies of our time. (shrink)
The province of jurisprudence compromised -- The province of jurisprudence revisited -- The provinciality of jurisprudence determined -- The morality of jurisprudence determined -- The province of jurisprudence pre-determined -- The province of jurisprudence moralised -- The province of jurisprudence re-generated -- The province of the judiciary democratised -- The experimental province of democracy determined.
Are propositions of law true or false? If so, what does it mean to say that propositions of law are true and false? This book takes up these questions in the context of the wider philosophical debate over realism and anti-realism. Despite surface differences, Patterson argues that the leading contemporary jurisprudential theories all embrace a flawed conception of the nature of truth in law. Instead of locating that in virtue of which propositions of law are true, Patterson argues that lawyers (...) use forms of argument to show the truth of propositions of law. Additionally, Patterson argues that the realism/anti-realism debate in jurisprudence is part of a larger argument over the role of postmodernism in jurisprudence. For this, Patterson offers an analytic account of postmodernism and charts its implications for legal theory. This book will be of interest to those in legal theory, philosophy, social and political theory, and ethics. (shrink)
David Lyons is one of the preeminent philosophers of law active in the United States. This volume comprises essays written over a period of twenty years in which Professor Lyons outlines his fundamental views about the nature of law and its relation to morality and justice. The underlying theme of the book is that a system of law has only a tenuous connection with morality and justice. Contrary to those legal theorists who maintain that no matter how bad the law (...) of a community might be, strict conformity to existing law automatically dispenses "formal" justice, Professor Lyons contends that the law must earn the respect that it demands. Moreover, we cannot, as some would suggest, interpret law in a value-neutral manner. Rather courts should interpret statutes, judicial precedents, and constitutional provisions in terms of values that would justify those laws. In this way officials can promote the justifiability of what they do to people in the name of law, and can help the law live up to its moral pretensions. (shrink)