The Moral Limits of Law: Obedience, Respect, and Legitimacy

Oxford University Press (2004)
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Abstract

The Moral Limits of Law analyzes the related debates concerning the moral obligation to obey the law, conscientious citizenship, and state legitimacy. Modern societies are drawn in a tension between the centripetal pull of the local and the centrifugal stress of the global. Boundaries that once appeared permanent are now permeable: transnational legal, economic, and trade institutions increasingly erode the autonomy of states. Nonetheless transnational principles are still typically effected through state law. For law's subjects, this tension brings into focus the interaction of legal and moral obligations and the legitimacy of state authority. This volume incorporates a comprehensive critical analysis of the methodology and substance of the debates in recent legal, political, and moral philosophy, regarding political obligation and the moral obligation to obey the law. The author argues that traditional accounts of political obligation that assume a bounded conception of the polity are no longer tenable. Higgins therefore presents an original theory of the conscientious agent's attitude towards law that accommodates the contemporary social tension between local and global obligations.

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Citations of this work

On (Not) Accepting the Punishment for Civil Disobedience.Piero Moraro - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):503-520.
Political Obligation.Richard Dagger - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Associative Political Obligations.Bas van der Vossen - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (7):477-487.
Consent by Residence: A Defense.Stephen Puryear - 2021 - European Journal of Political Theory 20 (3):529-546.

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