Law and Philosophy 34 (3):257-298 (2015)

Anthony Reeves
State University of New York at Binghamton
In a morally non-ideal legal system, how can law bind its subjects? How can the fact of a norm’s legality make it the case that practical reason is bound by that norm? Moreover, in such circumstances, what is the extent and character of law’s bindingness? I defend here an answer to these questions. I present a non-ideal theory of legality’s ability to produce binding reasons for action. It is not a descriptive account of law and its claims, it is a normative theory of legal reasoning for particular social circumstances. The approach is, somewhat like Raz’s influential account, instrumental in character. Yet, it denies that the morally binding legal norms are, in whole or part, exclusionary reasons for the responsible subject. Law’s instrumentality must be given an alternative characterization.
Keywords Authority  Political Obligation  Raz  Estlund  Legal Normativity
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DOI 10.1007/s10982-014-9221-x
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Law’s Empire.R. Dworkin - 1986 - Harvard University Press.

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