Raz on Gaps: The Surprising Part

In Lukas H. Meyer, Stanley L. Paulson & Thomas W. Pogge (eds.), Rights, Culture and the Law: Themes From the Legal and Political Philosophy of Joseph Raz. Oxford University Press (2003)

Timothy Endicott
Oxford University
In English law, there are various ways in which contracts can be invalid or unenforceable because they are immoral — and yet English lawyers know that many contracts are conclusively binding. The first two sources of legal gaps that Joseph Raz identifies do not seem surprising. Vagueness in the sources of law leads to gaps in borderline cases, and there is a gap if the law includes inconsistent rules, with no way of deciding which is effective. In those situations it seems right to say that the law does not tell people where they stand, so that people may need a court to make a decision. But if Raz is right about the third source of gaps, then judges have discretion whenever the law appeals to moral considerations. This chapter discusses the sources thesis, moral considerations, judicial discretion, the social morality of judges, and contract law.
Keywords Joseph Raz  judicial discretion  contract law  sources thesis  social morality
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
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: 59,700
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

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moving Intersticial Gaps.James H. Schmerl - 2002 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 48 (2):283-296.
No Gaps, No God?Teed Rockwell - 2009 - Philosophy and Theology 21 (1/2):129-153.
Projective Hausdorff Gaps.Yurii Khomskii - 2014 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 53 (1-2):57-64.
Bridging Gaps Between Concepts Through GAPS.Lars-Göran Nilsson - 1984 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7 (2):248.
Interstitial and Pseudo Gaps in Models of Peano Arithmetic.Ermek S. Nurkhaidarov - 2010 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 56 (2):198-204.
A Framework Evaluating Social and Environmental Issues.Rajat Panwar, Eric Hansen & Rob Kozak - 2009 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 20:153-159.
Are All Tautologies True?Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward - 1989 - Logique Et Analyse 125 (125-126):3-14.
Parasitic Degree Phrases.Jon Nissenbaum & Bernhard Schwarz - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (1):1-38.
Deflationism and Truth-Value Gaps.Patrick Greenough - 2010 - In Nikolaj Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (eds.), New Waves inTruth. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Theories of Truth and Truth-Value Gaps.Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward - 1993 - Linguistics and Philosophy 16 (6):551 - 559.
Educational Justice: Closing Gaps or Paying Debts?Gina Schouten - 2012 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (3):231-242.


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