May 1, 2007
Is law intrinsically moral?
|Law Librarian Blog's IMHO Award for Best Law Book of 2006|
|Brian Tamanaha's Law as a Means to an End: Threat to the Rule of Law (Cambridge UP, 2006)[announcement][review]|
Here's the current leading candidate for Law Librarian Blog's IMHO Award for Best Law Book of 2007:
Law as a Moral Idea
Hardback, 220 pages | Price: $65.00
Oxford University Press, May 2007
ISBN10: 0199276463 | ISBN13: 978-0-19-927646-2
Description: This book argues that the institutions of law, and the structures of legal thought, are to be understood by reference to a moral 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. Doctrinal legal arguments are shaped by rival conceptions of the conditions for realization 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 realize moral or political ideals; and some ideals can be conceived only by reference to their expression in institutions.
- Advocates an ambitious original argument, connecting the nature of law directly with the form of freedom that distinguishes the slave from the free man.
- Provides an original critique of legal positivism, arguing that legal theory should reconnect with older and broader traditions of philosophical thinking about law.
- Explains the key philosophical debates surrounding law in a clear language that requires no previous expertise or study of philosophy.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Is law intrinsically moral?: