H.L.A. Hart's The Concept of Law is the most important and influential book in the legal positivist tradition. Though its importance is undisputed, there is a good deal less consensus regarding its core commitments, both methodological and substantive. With the exception of an occasional essay, Hart neither further developed nor revised his position beyond the argument of the book. The burden of shaping the prevailing understanding of his views, therefore, has fallen to others: notably, Joseph Raz among positivists, and Ronald (...) Dworkin among positivism's critics. Dworkin, in particular, has framed, then reframed, the conventional understanding, not only of Hart's positivism, but of the terms of the debate between positivists and him. While standing on the sidelines, Hart witnessed the unfolding of not only a lively debate between positivists and Dworkin, but an equally intense one among positivists as to positivism's core claims. The most important debate has been between so-called inclusive and exclusive positivists: a debate as much about Hart's legacy as about the proper interpretation of legal positivism. (shrink)
Suppose the prevailing distribution of property rights is unjust as determined by the relevant conception of distributive justice. You have far more than you should have under that theory and I have far less. Then I defraud you and in doing so reallocate resources so that our holdings ex post more closely approximate what distributive justice requires. Do I have a duty to return the property to you? There are many good reasons for requiring me to return to you what (...) I have taken. One is that while you may have no right in justice to all that you own, it does not follow that I do, or that I have a right to take it. Thus, requiring me to return the property to you is a way of recognizing that I had no right to take it from you in the first place. (shrink)
Jules Coleman, one of the world's leading philosophers of law, here presents his most mature work so far on substantive issues in legal theory and the appropriate methodology for legal theorizing. In doing so, he takes on the views of highly respected contemporaries such as Brian Leiter, Stephen Perry, and Ronald Dworkin.
Research programs in empirical psychology from the past two decades have revealed implicit biases. Although implicit processes are pervasive, unavoidable, and often useful aspects of our cognitions, they may also lead us into error. The most problematic forms of implicit cognition are those which target social groups, encoding stereotypes or reflecting prejudicial evaluative hierarchies. Despite intentions to the contrary, implicit biases can influence our behaviours and judgements, contributing to patterns of discriminatory behaviour. These patterns of discrimination are obviously wrong and (...) unjust. But in remedying such wrongs, one question to be addressed concerns responsibility for implicit bias. Unlike some paradigmatic forms of wrongdoing, such discrimination is often unintentional, unendorsed, and perpetrated without awareness; and the harms are particularly damaging because they are cumulative and collectively perpetrated. So, what are we to make of questions of responsibility? In this article, we outline some of the main lines of recent philosophical thought, which address questions of responsibility for implicit bias. We focus on (a) the kind of responsibility at issue; (b) revisionist versus nonrevisionist conceptions of responsibility as applied to implicit bias; and (c) individual, institutional, and collective responsibility for implicit bias. (shrink)
Philosophers who have written about implicit bias have claimed or implied that individuals are not responsible, and therefore not blameworthy, for their implicit biases, and that this is a function of the nature of implicit bias as implicit: below the radar of conscious reflection, out of the control of the deliberating agent, and not rationally revisable in the way many of our reflective beliefs are. I argue that close attention to the findings of empirical psychology, and to the conditions for (...) blameworthiness, does not support these claims. I suggest that the arguments for the claim that individuals are not liable for blame are invalid, and that there is some reason to suppose that individuals are, at least sometimes, liable to blame for the extent to which they are influenced in behaviour and judgment by implicit biases. I also argue against the claim that it is counter-productive to see bias as something for which individuals are blameworthy; rather, understanding implicit bias as something for which we are liable to blame could be constructive. (shrink)
Various authors debate the question of whether neuroscience is relevant to criminal responsibility. However, a plethora of different techniques and technologies, each with their own abilities and drawbacks, lurks beneath the label “neuroscience”; and in criminal law responsibility is not a single, unitary and generic concept, but it is rather a syndrome of at least six different concepts. Consequently, there are at least six different responsibility questions that the criminal law asks—at least one for each responsibility concept—and, I will suggest, (...) a multitude of ways in which the techniques and technologies that comprise neuroscience might help us to address those diverse questions. In a way, on my account neuroscience is relevant to criminal responsibility in many ways, but I hesitate to state my position like this because doing so obscures two points which I would rather highlight: one, neither neuroscience nor criminal responsibility are as unified as that; and two, the criminal law asks many different responsibility questions and not just one generic question. (shrink)
One of the first volumes in the new series of prestigious Oxford Handbooks, The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law brings together specially commissioned essays by twenty-six of the foremost legal theorists currently writing, to provide a state of the art overview of jurisprudential scholarship.
The term 'implicit bias' has very swiftly been incorporated into philosophical discourse. Our aim in this paper is to scrutinise the phenomena that fall under the rubric of implicit bias. The term is often used in a rather broad sense, to capture a range of implicit social cognitions, and this is useful for some purposes. However, we here articulate some of the important differences between phenomena identified as instances of implicit bias. We caution against ignoring these differences: it is likely (...) they have considerable significance, not least for the sorts of normative recommendations being made concerning how to mitigate the bad effects of implicit bias. (shrink)
Nicole Shukin pursues a resolutely materialist engagement with the "question of the animal," challenging the philosophical idealism that has dogged the question by tracing how the politics of capital and of animal life impinge on one ...
The face of the world is changing. The past century has seen the incredible growth of international institutions. How does the fact that the world is becoming more interconnected change institutions' duties to people beyond borders? Does globalization alone engender any ethical obligations? In Globalization and Global Justice, Nicole Hassoun addresses these questions and advances a new argument for the conclusion that there are significant obligations to the global poor. First, she argues that there are many coercive international institutions (...) and that these institutions must provide the means for their subjects to avoid severe poverty. Hassoun then considers the case for aid and trade, and concludes with a new proposal for fair trade in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Globalization and Global Justice will appeal to readers in philosophy, politics, economics and public policy. (shrink)
Direct brain intervention based mental capacity restoration techniques-for instance, psycho-active drugs-are sometimes used in criminal cases to promote the aims of justice. For instance, they might be used to restore a person's competence to stand trial in order to assess the degree of their responsibility for what they did, or to restore their competence for punishment so that we can hold them responsible for it. Some also suggest that such interventions might be used for therapy or reform in criminal legal (...) contexts-i.e. to make non-responsible and irresponsible people more responsible. However, I argue that such interventions may at least sometimes fail to promote these responsibility-related legal aims. This is because responsibility hinges on other factors than just what mental capacities a person has-in particular, it also hinges on such things as authenticity, personal identity, and mental capacity ownership-and some ways of restoring mental capacity may adversely affect these other factors. Put one way, my claim is that what might suffice for the restoration of competence need not necessarily suffice for the restoration of responsibility, or, put another way, that although responsibility indeed tracks mental capacity it may not always track restored mental capacities. (shrink)
Our focus here is on whether, when influenced by implicit biases, those behavioural dispositions should be understood as being a part of that person’s character: whether they are part of the agent that can be morally evaluated. We frame this issue in terms of control. If a state, process, or behaviour is not something that the agent can, in the relevant sense, control, then it is not something that counts as part of her character. A number of theorists have argued (...) that individuals do not have control, in the relevant sense, over the operation of implicit bias. We will argue that this claim is mistaken. We articulate and develop a notion of control that individuals have with respect to implicit bias, and argue that this kind of control can ground character-based evaluation of such behavioural dispositions. (shrink)
This essay is part of a larger project exploring the extent to which the market paradigm might be usefully employed to explain and in some instances justify nonmarket institutions. The focus of the market paradigm in this essay is the relationship between the idea of a perfectly competitive market and aspects of both the rationality of political association and the theory of collective choice. In particular, this essay seeks to identify what connections, if any, exist between one kind of market (...) account of the rationality of political association and one kind of market-based social choice rule. The market theory of political association I intend to discuss I call “market contractarianism,” and the collective choice rule whose relation to it I intend to explore is the unanimity rule. What, if anything, is the relationship between market contractarianism and the unanimity rule? (shrink)
There is a close but largely unexplored connection between law and economics and cognitive psychology. Law and economics applies economic models, modes of analysis, and argument to legal problems. Economic theory can be applied to legal problems for predictive, explanatory, or evaluative purposes. In explaining or assessing human action, economic theory presupposes a largely unarticulated account of rational, intentional action. Philosophers typically analyze intentional action in terms of desires and beliefs. I intend to perform some action because I believe that (...) it will produce an outcome that I desire. This standard “belief-desire” model of action invokes what philosophers of psychology and action theorists aptly refer to as a “folk psychology.”. (shrink)
Garrath Williams claims that truly responsible people must possess a “capacity … to respond [appropriately] to normative demands” (2008:462). However, there are people whom we would normally praise for their responsibility despite the fact that they do not yet possess such a capacity (e.g. consistently well-behaved young children), and others who have such capacity but who are still patently irresponsible (e.g. some badly-behaved adults). Thus, I argue that to qualify for the accolade “a responsible person” one need not possess such (...) a capacity, but only to be earnestly willing to do the right thing and to have a history that testifies to this willingness. Although we may have good reasons to prefer to have such a capacity ourselves, and to associate ourselves with others who have it, at a conceptual level I do not think that such considerations support the claim that having this capacity is a necessary condition of being a responsible person in the virtue sense. (shrink)
Could neuroimaging evidence help us to assess the degree of a person’s responsibility for a crime which we know that they committed? This essay defends an affirmative answer to this question. A range of standard objections to this high-tech approach to assessing people’s responsibility is considered and then set aside, but I also bring to light and then reject a novel objection—an objection which is only encountered when functional (rather than structural) neuroimaging is used to assess people’s responsibility.
Luck egalitarians think that considerations of responsibility can excuse departures from strict equality. However critics argue that allowing responsibility to play this role has objectionably harsh consequences. Luck egalitarians usually respond either by explaining why that harshness is not excessive, or by identifying allegedly legitimate exclusions from the default responsibility-tracking rule to tone down that harshness. And in response, critics respectively deny that this harshness is not excessive, or they argue that those exclusions would be ineffective or lacking in justification. (...) Rather than taking sides, after criticizing both positions I also argue that this way of carrying on the debate – i.e. as a debate about whether the harsh demands of responsibility outweigh other considerations, and about whether exclusions to responsibility-tracking would be effective and/or justified – is deeply problematic. On my account, the demands of responsibility do not – in fact, they can not – conflict with the demands of other normative considerations, because responsibility only provides a formal structure within which those other considerations determine how people may be treated, but it does not generate its own practical demands. (shrink)
Fred Adams and collaborators advocate a view on which empty-name sentences semantically encode incomplete propositions, but which can be used to conversationally implicate descriptive propositions. This account has come under criticism recently from Marga Reimer and Anthony Everett. Reimer correctly observes that their account does not pass a natural test for conversational implicatures, namely, that an explanation of our intuitions in terms of implicature should be such that we upon hearing it recognize it to be roughly correct. Everett argues that (...) the implicature view provides an explanation of only some our intuitions, and is in fact incompatible with others, especially those concerning the modal profile of sentences containing empty names. I offer a pragmatist treatment of empty names based upon the recognition that the Gricean distinction between what is said and what is implicated is not exhaustive, and argue that such a solution avoids both Everett’s and Reimer’s criticisms.Selon Fred Adams et ses collaborateurs, les phrases comportant des noms propres vides codent sémantiquement des propositions incomplètes, bien qu’elles puissent être utilisées pour impliquer des propositions descriptives dans le contexte d’une conversation. Marga Reimer et Anthony Everett ont récemment critiqué cette théorie. Reimer note judicieusement que leur théorie ne résiste pas à l’examen naturel des implications conversationnelles; une explication de nos intuitions concernant l’implication doit être telle que lorsque nous l’entendons, elle nous apparaît globalement correcte. Everett soutient que la théorie de l’implication ne parvient à expliquer qu’un certain nombre de nos intuitions et reste incompatible avec d’autres, notamment celles qui concernent la dimension modale des phrases contenant des noms propres vides. Je propose ici un traitement pragmatiste des noms propres vides fondé sur l’observation que la distinction Gricéenne entre ce qui est dit et ce qui est impliqué n’est pas exhaustive; je soutiens que cette solution échappe aux critiques d’Everett et de Reimer. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Beall and Restall's claim that there is one true logic of metaphysical modality is incompatible with the formulation of logical pluralism that they give. I investigate various ways of reconciling their pluralism with this claim, but conclude that none of the options can be made to work.
The sense of agency is a central aspect of human self-consciousness and refers to the experience of oneself as the agent of one’s own actions. Several different cognitive theories on the sense of agency have been proposed implying divergent empirical approaches and results, especially with respect to neural correlates. A multifactorial and multilevel model of the sense of agency may provide the most constructive framework for integrating divergent theories and findings, meeting the complex nature of this intriguing phenomenon.
Many unethical decisions stem from a lack of awareness. In this article, we consider how mindfulness, an individual's awareness of his or her present experience, impacts ethical decision making. In our first study, we demonstrate that compared to individuals low in mindfulness, individuals high in mindfulness report that they are more likely to act ethically, are more likely to value upholding ethical standards (self-importance of moral identity, SMI), and are more likely to use a principled approach to ethical decision making (...) (formalism). In our second study, we test this relationship with a novel behavioral measure of unethical behavior: the carbonless anagram method (CAM). We find that of participants who cheated, compared to individuals low in mindfulness, individuals high in mindfulness cheated less. Taken together, our results demonstrate important connections between mindfulness and ethical decision making. (shrink)
Research programs in empirical psychology over the past few decades have led scholars to posit implicit biases. This is due to the development of innovative behavioural measures that have revealed aspects of our cognitions which may not be identified on self-report measures requiring individuals to reflect on and report their attitudes and beliefs. But what does it mean to characterise such biases as implicit? Can we satisfactorily articulate the grounds for identifying them as bias? And crucially, what sorts of cognitions (...) are in fact being measured; what mental states or processes underpin such behavioural responses? In this paper, we outline some of the philosophical and empirical issues engaged when attempting to address these three questions. Our aim is to provide a constructive taxonomy of the issues, and how they interrelate. As we will see, any view about what implicit bias is may depend on a range of prior theoretical choices. (shrink)
The way in which we characterize the structural and functional differences between psychopath and normal brains – either as biological disorders or as mere biological differences – can influence our judgments about psychopaths’ responsibility for criminal misconduct. However, Marga Reimer (Neuroethics 1(2):14, 2008) points out that whether our characterization of these differences should be allowed to affect our judgments in this manner “is a difficult and important question that really needs to be addressed before policies regarding responsibility... can be implemented (...) with any confidence”. This paper is an attempt to address Reimer’s difficult and important question; I argue that irrespective of which of these two characterizations is chosen, our judgments about psychopaths’ responsibility should not be affected, because responsibility hinges not on whether a particular difference is (referred to as) a disorder or not, but on how that difference affects the mental capacities required for moral agency. (shrink)
Recent empirical research has substantiated the finding that very many of us harbour implicit biases: fast, automatic, and difficult to control processes that encode stereotypes and evaluative content, and influence how we think and behave. Since it is difficult to be aware of these processes - they have sometimes been referred to as operating 'unconsciously' - we may not know that we harbour them, nor be alert to their influence on our cognition and action. And since they are difficult to (...) control, considerable work is required to prevent their influence. We here focus on the implications of these findings for epistemology. We first look at ways in which implicit biases thwart our knowledge seeking practices (sections 1 & 2). Then we set out putative epistemic benefits of implicit bias, before considering ways in which epistemic practices might be improved (section 3). Finally, we consider the distinctive challenges that the findings about implicit bias pose to us as philosophers, in the context of feminist philosophy in particular (section 4). (shrink)
Disputes about logic are commonplace and undeniable. It is sometimes argued that these disputes are not genuine disagreements, but are rather merely verbal ones. Are advocates of different logics simply talking past each other? In this paper we argue that pluralists (and anyone who sees competing logics as genuine rivals), should reject the claim that real disagreement requires competing logics to assign the same meaning to logical connectives, or the same logical form to arguments. Along the way we argue that (...) ascriptions of logical form, as well as connective meaning, are always theory-relative. (shrink)