Law as a Moral Idea
This book argues that the institutions of law, and the structures of legal thought, are to be understood by reference to a moral ideal. The idea of law is an ideal of freedom, or independence from the power of others. The moral value and justificatory force of law are not contingent upon circumstance, but intrinsic to its character as law. Doctrinal legal arguments are shaped by rival conceptions of the conditions for realisation of the idea of law. In making these claims, the author rejects the viewpoint of much contemporary legal theory, and seeks to move jurisprudence closer to an older tradition of philosophical reflection upon law, exemplified by Hobbes and Kant. Modern analytical jurisprudence has tended to view these older philosophies as confused precisely in so far as they equate an understanding of law's nature with a revelation of its moral basis. According to most contemporary legal theorists, the understanding and analysis of existing institutions is quite distinct from any enterprise of moral reflection. But the relationship between ideals and practices is much more intimate than this approach would suggest. Some institutions can be properly understood only when they are viewed as imperfect attempts to realise moral or political ideals; and some ideals can be conceived only by reference to their expression in institutions.
59 pages matching seems in this book
Results 1-3 of 59
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Jurisprudence and the Nature of Law
The Ideality of Law
15 other sections not shown
applied archetype argue argument aspirational view citizens claim Clarendon Press complex compliance comply concept of law concern conduct context contingent decision derivability distinct doctrinal domain duty Dworkin eight desiderata eight precepts embody enacted evil example existence extra-legal violence fact Fuller's eight Gustav Radbruch Hart Hart's theory helots idea of law Immanuel Kant inquiry instances of law institutions intrinsically moral Joseph Raz judges juridical jurisprudence justice justificatory Kant Kramer law and morality law's nature legal positivism legal positivists legal system legal theory legal thought legal validity liberty Lon Fuller moral ideal morally neutral nature of law of'law officials Oxford penumbral perhaps philosophical philosophy of law political positivists possible practices propositions of law punishment question reasons reflection regime's relevant requirements Ronald Dworkin rule of law rule of recognition sanctions seems sense Simmonds simply social status substantive theorists thesis tion University Press values virtue wicked goals wicked regimes