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Being Apart from Reasons deals with the question of how we should go about using reasons to decide what to do. More particularly, the book presents objections to the most common response given by contemporary legal and political theorists to the moral complexity of decision-making in modern societies, namely: the attempt to release public agents from their argumentative burden by insulating a particular set of reasons from the general pool of reasons and assigning the former systematic priority over all other reasons. That strategy is apparent both in Rawls’ claim that reasons concerning the right are systematically prior to reasons concerning the good and in Raz’s claim that pre-emptive reasons are systematically prior to first-order reasons. The same strategy is also instantiated by certain arguments for the procedural value of law, such as Jeremy Waldron’s. In the book, each of those arguments for the insulation of reasons is objected to in order to defend the thesis the reasoning by public agents must always be as comprehensive as possible. The remaining chapters object to those arguments mentioned above which aim at justifying the exclusion of certain reasons from public agents' decision-making.
Being Apart from Reasons deals with the question of how we should go about using reasons to decide what to do. More particularly, the book presents objections to the most common response given by contemporary legal and political theorists to the moral complexity of decision-making in modern societies, namely: the attempt to release public agents from their argumentative burden by insulating a particular set of reasons from the general pool of reasons and assigning the former systematic priority over all other reasons. That strategy is apparent both in Rawls’ claim that reasons concerning the right are systematically prior to reasons concerning the good and in Raz’s claim that pre-emptive reasons are systematically prior to first-order reasons. The same strategy is also instantiated by certain arguments for the procedural value of law, such as Jeremy Waldron’s. In the book, each of those arguments for the insulation of reasons is objected to in order to defend the thesis the reasoning by public agents must always be as comprehensive as possible. The remaining chapters object to those arguments mentioned above which aim at justifying the exclusion of certain reasons from public agents' decision-making.
Roscoe Pound ranks as one of the most prominent legal scholars in the development of American jurisprudence. In An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law, he shows how philosophy has been a powerful instrument throughout the history of law. He examines what philosophy has done for some of the chief problems of the science of law and how it is possible to look at those problems philosophically without treating them in terms of a particular time period. The function of legal philosophy, writes Pound, is to rationally formulate a general theory of law which conforms to the interests, the general security first and foremost, of society. According to Pound, philosophies of law historically have rationally adjusted legal developments to the circumstantial needs of society. Pound concerned himself primarily with the practical effects of American legal developments within the context of social interests and general security. He encouraged American jurists to abandon efforts to conform obsolete models of legal philosophy to new realities. The significance of Pound's scholarship, particularly An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law, is the legal relativism inherent therein and its ongoing impact not merely on American jurisprudence, but on the imperative that American public policy be tested in the juridical crucible of relativism. Marshall DeRosa writes in his new introduction that in the light of twentieth-century judicial politics, Roscoe Pound's philosophy of law has prevailed to a significant extent. This book's relevance to appreciating the development of the American legal system in all its complexities--including liability law, contract law, and property law--is in itself notable. But, in terms of understanding the twentieth-century development of the American rule of law, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law is indispensable. It will make an invaluable addition to the personal libraries of legal theorists, philosophers, political scientists, and historians of American law.
This book is about 'Kantianism' in both a narrow and a broad sense. In the former, it is about the tracing of the development of the retributive philosophy of punishment into and beyond its classical phase in the work of a number of philosophers, one of the most prominent of whom is Kant. In the latter, it is an exploration of the many instantiations of the 'Kantian' ideas of individual guilt, responsibility and justice within the substantive criminal law . On their face, such discussions may owe more or less explicitly to Kant, but, in their basic intellectual structure, they share a recognisably common commitment to certain ideas emerging from the liberal Enlightenment and embodied within a theory of criminal justice and punishment which is in this broader sense 'Kantian'. The work has its roots in the emergence in the 1970s and early 1980s in the United States and Britain of the 'justice model' of penal reform, a development that was as interesting in terms of the sociology of philosophical knowledge as it was in its own right. Only a few years earlier, I had been taught in undergraduate criminology (which appeared at the time to be the only discipline to have anything interesting to say about crime and punishment) that 'classical criminology' (that is, Beccaria and the other Enlightenment reformers, who had been colonised as a 'school' within criminology) had died a major death in the 19th century, from which there was no hope of resuscitation.
In this revised edition, two distinguished philosophers have extended and strengthened the most authoritative text available on the philosophy of law and jurisprudence. While retaining their comprehensive coverage of classical and modern theory, Murphy and Coleman have added new discussions of the Critical Legal Studies movement and feminist jurisprudence, and they have strengthened their treatment of natural law theory, criminalization, and the law of torts. The chapter on law and economics remains the best short introduction to that difficult, controversial, and influential topic.Students will appreciate the careful organization and clear presentation of complicated issues as well as the emphasis on the relevance of both law and legal theory to contemporary society.