Defective, But Still Law: A Critique of Mark Murphy’s Weak Natural Law Jurisprudence

In a number of places, Mark Murphy has defended what he calls a ‘weak version’ of the natural law thesis. His claim is that, “law not backed by decisive reasons for action is still law, but defective precisely as law”. In this paper, I attempt to provide an answer on behalf of Murphy to the question: when law is defective, what is it about law that continues to make it ‘law’ despite its being defective? Three separate, but related, strategies are examined; all three – for separate, but related, reasons – are shown to fail. The conclusion drawn is that if Murphy is unable to provide a sufficient answer to the central question of the paper, the viability of his weak natural law theory is thrown into serious question
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,935
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

A Critical Review of Natural Law and Practical Rationality.John J. Davenport - 2003 - International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2):229-239.
Natural Law Jurisprudence.Mark C. Murphy - 2003 - Legal Theory 9 (4):241-267.
A Natural Law Based Environmental Ethic.Scott A. Davison - 2009 - Ethics and the Environment 14 (1):pp. 1-13.
Toward a Unified Foundation of Natural Law Ethics.Edmund Wall - 2010 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):747-779.
Aquinas and the Ontological Flexibility of Law.Matthew Schaeffer - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 24 (2):377-386.
Meinong's Theory of Defective Objects.Dale Jacquette - 1982 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 15 (1):1-19.
Hobbes on the Evil of Death by Mark C. Murphy (Washington, DC).Mark C. Murphy - 2000 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 28:36.


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes