In a recent comment on H.L.A. Hart’s ‘Postscript’ to The Concept of Law, Ronald Dworkin claims that the meaning of legal and political concepts may be understood by analogy to the meaning of natural kind concepts like ‘tiger’, ‘gold’ and ‘water’. This article questions the efficacy of Dworkin’s claims by challenging the use of natural kinds as the basis for a semantic theory of legal and political concepts. Additionally, in matters of value there is no methodological equivalent to the scientific (...) method. Thus, there is little hope of finding hidden essences to explain the meaning of legal and political concepts. Finally, even if there are natural kinds, Dworkin’s arguments for their efficacy in jurisprudence are problematic and unpersuasive. The problem for Dworkin is that his embrace of natural kinds undermines the ‘fit’ side of the fit/justification model of adjudication that lies at the heart of his theory of law. (shrink)
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)
Arguments for the importance of neuroscience reach across many disciplines. Advocates of neuroscience have made wide-ranging claims for neuroscience in the realms of ethics, value, and law. In law, for example, many scholars have argued for an increased role for neuroscientific evidence in the assessment of criminal responsibility. In this article, we take up claims for the explanatory role of neuroscience in matters of morals and law. Drawing on our previous work together, we assess the cogency of neuroscientific explanations of (...) three issues that arise in these domains: rule-following, interpretation, and knowledge. We critique these explanations and in general challenge claims as to the efficacy of the neuroscientific accounts. (shrink)
Robert Alexy has built his original theory of law upon pervasive claims for “necessary” features of law. In this article, I show that Alexy's claims suffer from two difficulties. First, Alexy is never clear about what he means by “necessity.” Second, Alexy writes as if there have been no challenges to claims of conceptual necessity. There have been such challenges and Alexy needs to answer them if his project is to succeed.
The question What makes a promise binding? has received much attention both from philosophers and lawyers. One argument is that promises are binding because the act of making a promise creates expectations in the promisee, which expectations it would be morally wrong to disappoint. Another argument is grounded in the effects engendered by the making of a promise, specifically actions taken in reliance upon the promise. These two positions, the so-called expectation and reliance theories, have traditionally been thought to be (...) incommensurable. In a recent article, Promises and Practices, Thomas Scanlon advances a theory of promising developed out of both of these positions. This article argues that Scanlon 's argument fails because it cannot avoid the incommensurability of the expectation and reliance principles. (shrink)
At the invitation of the Editors, we wrote an article (entitled, “Minds, Brains, and Norms”) detailing our views on a variety of claims by those arguing for the explanatory power of neuroscience in matters of law and ethics. The Editors invited comments on our article from four distinguished academics (Walter Glannon, Carl Craver, Sarah Robins, and Thomas Nadelhoffer) and invited our reply to their critique of our views. In this reply to our commentators, we correct some potential misunderstandings of our (...) views and further clarify our positions with discussions of the conceptual-empirical distinction, rule-following, explanations at the personal and subpersonal levels, memory, and lie detection. Although we acknowledge many of the criticisms advanced by our distinguished colleagues, we conclude that, in several important respects, their criticisms confirm the points made in our original article. (shrink)
John Hyman makes a good case for the proposition that duress defeases what would otherwise be a voluntary act. In this article, I consider Hyman's arguments in the context of economic duress and conclude that while Hyman makes an excellent case for the proposition that duress vitiates voluntariness, there may be cases where the law might not want to allow the defence of duress.
Stephen Morse’s illuminating scholarship on law and neuroscience relies on a “folk psychological” account of human behavior in order to defend the law’s foundations for ascribing legal responsibility. The heart of Morse’s account is the notion of “mental state causation,” in which mental states cause behavior. Morse argues that causation of this sort is necessary to support legal responsibility. We challenge this claim. First, we discuss problems with the conception of mental causation on which Morse appears to rely. Second, we (...) present an alternative account to explain the link between mental states, reasons, and actions. We argue that the alternative account avoids the conceptual problems that arise for Morse’s conception of mental causation and that it also undergirds ascriptions of legal responsibility. If the alternative succeeds, then Morse’s conception of “mental state causation” is not necessary to support legal responsibility. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's distinction between understanding and interpretation is fundamental to the account of meaning in _Philosophical Investigations. In his discussion of rule-following, Wittgenstein explicitly rejects the idea that understanding or grasping a rule is a matter of interpretation. Wittgenstein explains meaning and rule-following in terms of action, rejecting both realist and Cartesian accounts of the mental. I argue that in his effort to employ Wittgenstein's views on meaning and rule-following, Professor Morawetz embraces the position Wittgenstein rejects. In the course of making (...) his case for law as a "deliberative practice", Professor Morawetz embraces interpretation as a fundamental element of human practices, thereby taking up precisely the view Wittgenstein rejects. (shrink)
Empirical claims are factual claims validated by the methods of science. Conceptual claims involve matters of sense. Empirical inquiry that proceeds from conceptual confusion can never yield fruitful results (i.e., knowledge). John Mikhail's speculations about UMG are an example of conceptual confusions that lead not to knowledge but to claims and assertions that lack sense.
This book addresses the philosophical questions that arise when neuroscientific research and technology are applied in the legal system. The empirical, practical, ethical, and conceptual issues that Pardo and Patterson seek to redress will deeply influence how we negotiate and implement the fruits of neuroscience in law and policy in the future.
Featuring contributions from renowned scholars,_ A Companion to European Union Law and International Law_ presents a comprehensive and authoritative collection of essays that addresses all of the most important topics on European Union and international law. Integrates the fields of European Union law and international law, revealing both the similarities and differences Features contributions from renowned scholars in the fields of EU law and international law Covers a broad range of topical issues, including trade, institutional decision-making, the European Court of (...) Justice, democracy, human rights, criminal law, the EMU, and many others. (shrink)
Taking up a single question--"What does it mean to say a proposition of law is true?"--this book advances a major new account of truth in law. Drawing upon the later philosophy of Wittgenstein, as well as more recent postmodern theory of the relationship between language, meaning, and the world, Patterson examines leading contemporary jurisprudential approaches to this question and finds them flawed in similar and previously unnoticed ways. He offers a powerful alternative account of legal justification, one in which linguistic (...) practice--the use of forms of legal argument--holds the key to legal meaning. (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.
Bringing together the latest work from leading scholars in this emerging and vibrant subfield of law, this book examines the philosophical issues that inform the intersection between law and neuroscience.
This carefully selected set of readings presents some of the most important articles in the field. The collection is essential reading for anyone with an interest in legal philosophy. Gathers together some of the most important articles in the field of philosophy of law and legal theory. Complements Dennis Patterson's _A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory _. Represents essential reading for the beginning law student.
This carefully selected set of readings presents some of the most important articles in the field. The collection is essential reading for anyone with an interest in legal philosophy. Gathers together some of the most important articles in the field of philosophy of law and legal theory. Complements Dennis Patterson's _A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory_. Represents essential reading for the beginning law student.
Introduction to the Philosophy of Law: Readings and Cases employs a combination of case-based and theory-based materials to show novices in the field how the philosophy of law is related to concrete and actual legal practice. Ideal for undergraduates, it engages their curiosity about the law without sacrificing philosophical content. The authors emphasize a command of legal concepts and doctrine as a prelude to philosophical analysis. Designed to acquaint students with the fundamentals of jurisprudence and legal theory, Part I of (...) the book includes readings from influential philosophers representing eight different types of jurisprudence: natural law theory, positivism, constructivism, consequentialism, critical legal studies, feminist theory, practice theory, and new natural law theory. In Part II, the authors present a variety of cases that allow students to apply the theories in Part I to the actual practice of law. Unlike similar texts, which focus primarily on public law, this unique book addresses both private and public law, and includes cases on statutory interpretation, contract law, and tort law. Brief essays precede and discussion questions follow each case. Introduction to the Philosophy of Law: Readings and Cases serves as an exceptional text for courses in the philosophy of law, jurisprudence, and legal theory. (shrink)