Mutual Expectations: A Conventionalist Theory of Law

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Springer Science & Business Media, May 31, 2002 - Law - 291 pages
The law persists because people have reasons to comply with its rules. What characterizes those reasons is their interdependence: each of us only has a reason to comply because he or she expects the others to comply for the same reasons. The rules may help us to solve coordination problems, but the interaction patterns regulated by them also include Prisoner's Dilemma games, Division problems and Assurance problems. In these "games" the rules can only persist if people can be expected to be moved by considerations of fidelity and fairness, not only of prudence.
This book takes a fresh look at the perennial problems of legal philosophy - the source of obligation to obey the law, the nature of authority, the relationship between law and morality, and the nature of legal argument - from the perspective of this conventionalist understanding of social rules. It argues that, since the resilience of such rules depends on cooperative dispositions, conventionalism, properly understood, does not imply positivism.
 

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Contents

A CONVENTIONALIST THEORY OF SOCIAL RULES AND OBLIGATIONS
1
THE STRUCTURE OF OBLIGATORY NORMS
20
THE ROLE OF SANCTIONS
49
POLITICAL OBLIGATION ITS GROUNDS AND LIMITS
62
THE OBLIGATION TO OBEY THE LAW
91
LAW AND AUTHORITY
113
AUTHORITY AND RATIONALITY
127
MORAL ARGUMENT AND CONVENTION
154
MORAL ARGUMENT AND LAW REFUTING THE POSITIVIST ARGUMENT
175
MORAL ARGUMENT AND LAW FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS
192
A CONVENTIONALIST THEORY OF LEGAL ARGUMENT
214
COHERENCE AND DECIDABILITY
245
REFERENCES
259
INDEX OF AUTHORS
279
INDEX OF CONCEPTS
283
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