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Since 2013, an organization called the Nonhuman Rights Project has brought before the New York State courts an unusual request-asking for habeas corpus hearings to determine whether Kiko and Tommy, two captive chimpanzees, should be considered legal persons with the fundamental right to bodily liberty. While the courts have agreed that chimpanzees share emotional, behavioural, and cognitive similarities with humans, they have denied that chimpanzees are persons on superficial and sometimes conflicting grounds. Consequently, Kiko and Tommy remain confined as legal "things" with no rights. The major moral and legal question remains unanswered: are chimpanzees mere "things", as the law currently sees them, or can they be "persons" possessing fundamental rights? In Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers' Brief, a group of renowned philosophers considers these questions. Carefully and clearly, they examine the four lines of reasoning the courts have used to deny chimpanzee personhood: species, contract, community, and capacities. None of these, they argue, merits disqualifying chimpanzees from personhood. The authors conclude that when judges face the choice between seeing Kiko and Tommy as things and seeing them as persons-the only options under current law-they should conclude that Kiko and Tommy are persons who should therefore be protected from unlawful confinement "in keeping with the best philosophical standards of rational judgment and ethical standards of justice." Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers' Brief-an extended version of the amicus brief submitted to the New York Court of Appeals in Kiko's and Tommy's cases-goes to the heart of fundamental issues concerning animal rights, personhood, and the question of human and nonhuman nature. It is essential reading for anyone interested in these issues.
In this groundbreaking work, French legal scholar Alain Supiot examines the relationship of society to legal discourse. He argues that the law is how justice is implmented in secular society, but it is not simply a technique to be manipulated at will: it is also an expression of the core beliefs of the West. We must recognize itsuniversalizing, dogmatic nature and become receptive to other interpretations from non-Western cultures to help us avoid the clash of civilizations. In Homo Juridicus, Supiot deconstructs the illusion of a world that has become "flat" and undifferentiated, regulated only by supposed "laws" of science and the economy, and peopled by contract-makers driven only by the calculation of their individual interests. Such a liberal perspective is nothing but the flipside of the notion of the withering away of law and the state, promoted this time not under the banner of the struggle between classes, but rather in the name of the free competition between sovereign individuals. Supiot's exploration of the development of the"legal subject"-the individual as formed through a dense web of contracts and laws-is set to become a classic work of social theory.
Written by an international assembly of distinguished philosophers
and legal theorists, "The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Law
and Legal Theory" brings into focus the central contemporary themes
and issues in the area. Each of the 23 essays incorporates
essential background material and advances key arguments. Topics
include legal positivism, natural law theory, critical legal
theory, American Legal Realism, feminist legal theory, criminal
law, contract law, tort law, evidence, obligation, theories of
rights, punishment, legal reasoning, objectivity, theories of law,
continental perspectives on law, and many others.
Humans are justificatory beingsthey offer, demand, and require justifications. The rules and institutions they follow rest on justification narratives that have evolved over time and, taken together, constitute a dynamic and tension-laden normative order. In this collection of essays, the first translation into English of the ground-breaking Normativitat und Macht (Suhrkamp 2015), Rainer Forst presents a new approach to critical theory. Each essay reflects on the basic principles that guide our normative thinking. Forst's argument goes beyond 'ideal' and 'realist' theories and shows how closely the concepts of normativity and power are interrelated, and how power rests on the capacity to influence, determine, and possibly restrict the space of justifications for others. By combining insights from the disciplines of philosophy, history, and the social sciences, Forst re-evaluates theories of justice, as well as of power, and provides the tools for a critical theory of relations of justification.
Clarence Thomas is one of the most vilified public figures of our day. To date, however, his legal philosophy has received only cursory treatment. First Principles provides a portrait of Thomas based not on the justice's caricatured reputation, but on his judicial opinions and votes, his scholarly writings, and his public speeches.
The paperback edition includes a provocative new Afterword by the author bringing the book up to date by assessing Justice Thomas's performance, and the reaction to his decisions, during the last five years.
Constituent power is the power to create new constitutions. Frequently exercised during political revolutions, it has been historically associated with extra-legality and violations of the established legal order. This book examines the relationship between constituent power and the law. It considers the place of constituent power in constitutional history, focusing on the legal and institutional implications that theorists, politicians, and judges have derived from it. Commentators and citizens have relied on the concept of constituent power to defend the idea that electors have the right to instruct representatives, to negate the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, and to argue that the creation of new constitutions must take place through extra-legislative processes, including primary assemblies open to all citizens. More recently, several Latin American constitutions explicitly incorporate the theory of constituent power and allow citizens, acting through popular initiative, to trigger constitution-making episodes that may result in the replacement of the entire constitutional order. Constitutional courts have also at times employed constituent power to justify their jurisdiction to invalidate constitutional amendments that alter the fundamental structure of the constitution and thus amount to a constitution-making exercise. Some governments have used it to defend the legality of attempts to transform the constitutional order through procedures not contemplated in the constitution's amendment rule, but considered participatory enough to be equivalent to 'the people in action', sometimes sanctioned by courts. Building on these findings, Constituent Power and the Law argues that constituent power, unlike sovereignty, should be understood as ultimately based on a legal mandate to produce a particular type of juridical content. In practice, this makes it possible for a constitution-making body to be understood as legally subject to popularly ratified substantive limits.
Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility is a series of volumes presenting outstanding new work on a set of connected themes, investigating such questions as: * What does it mean to be an agent? * What is the nature of moral responsibility? Of criminal responsibility? What is the relation between moral and criminal responsibility (if any)? * What is the relation between responsibility and the metaphysical issues of determinism and free will? * What do various psychological disorders tell us about agency and responsibility? * How do moral agents develop? How does this developmental story bear on questions about the nature of moral judgment and responsibility? * What do the results from neuroscience imply (if anything) for our questions about agency and responsibility? OSAR thus straddles the areas of moral philosophy and philosophy of action, but also draws from a diverse range of cross-disciplinary sources, including moral psychology, psychology proper (including experimental and developmental), philosophy of psychology, philosophy of law, legal theory, metaphysics, neuroscience, neuroethics, political philosophy, and more. It is unified by its focus on who we are as deliberators and (inter)actors, embodied practical agents negotiating (sometimes unsuccessfully) a world of moral and legal norms.
Most arguments for or against abortion focus on one question: is the fetus a person? In this provocative and important book, David Boonin defends the claim that even if the fetus is a person with the same right to life you and I have, abortion should still be legal, and most current restrictions on abortion should be abolished. Beyond Roe points to a key legal precedent: McFall v. Shimp. In 1978, an ailing Robert McFall sued his cousin, David Shimp, asking the court to order Shimp to provide McFall with the bone marrow he needed. The court ruled in Shimp's favor and McFall soon died. Boonin extracts a compelling lesson from the case of McFall v. Shimp-that having a right to life does not give a person the right to use another person's body even if they need to use that person's body to go on living-and he uses this principle to support his claim that abortion should be legal and far less restricted than it currently is, regardless of whether the fetus is a person. By taking the analysis of the right to life that Judith Jarvis Thomson pioneered in a moral context and applying it in a legal context in this novel way, Boonin offers a fresh perspective that is grounded in assumptions that should be accepted by both sides of the abortion debate. Written in a lively, conversational style, and offering a case study of the value of reason in analyzing complex social issues, Beyond Roe will be of interest to students and scholars in a variety of fields, and to anyone interested in the debate over whether government should restrict or prohibit abortion.
"In this well-written and carefully documented book Professor
Gottlieb contends that the conservative direction of this court is
so strong that it is impossible for the poor and less fortunate to
receive proper consideration and, ultimately, redress."
We like to think of judges and justices as making decisions based on the facts and the law. But to what extent do jurists decide cases in accordance with their own preexisting philosophy of law, and what specific ideological assumptions account for their decisions?
Stephen E. Gottlieb adopts a unique perspective on the decision-making of Supreme Court justices, blending and re-characterizing traditional accounts of political philosophy in a way that plausibly explains many of the justices' voting patterns.
A seminal study of the Rehnquist Court, Morality Imposed illustrates how, in contrast to previous courts which took their mandate to be a move toward a freer and/or happier society, the current court evidences little concern for this goal, focusing instead on thinly veiled moral judgments. Delineating a fault line between liberal and conservative justices on the Rehnquist Court, Gottlieb suggests that conservative justices have rejected the basic principles that informed post-New Deal individual rights jurisprudence and have substituted their own conceptions of moral character for these fundamental principles.
Morality Imposed adds substantially to our understanding of the Supreme Court, its most recent cases, and the evolution of judicial philosophy in the U.S.
Read Chapter One.
Every discipline has its canon: the set of standard texts, approaches, examples, and stories by which it is recognized and which its members repeatedly invoke and employ. Although the last twenty-five years have seen the influence of interdisciplinary approaches to legal studies expand, there has been little recent consideration of what is and what ought to be canonical in the study of law today.
Legal Canons brings together fifteen essays which seek to map out the legal canon and the way in which law is taught today. In order to understand how the twin ideas of canons and canonicity operate in law, each essay focuses on a particular aspect, from contracts and constitutional law to questions of race and gender. The ascendance of law and economics, feminism, critical race theory, and gay legal studies, as well as the increasing influence of both rational-actor methodology and postmodernism, are all scrutinized by the leading scholars in the field.
A timely and comprehensive volume, Legal Canons articulates the need for, and means to, opening the debate on canonicity in legal studies.
Table of Contents
The debate over race in this country has of late converged on the contentious issue of affirmative action. Although the Supreme Court once supported the concept of racial affirmative action, in recent years a majority of the Court has consistently opposed various affirmative action programs.
The Law of Affirmative Action provides a comprehensive chronicle of the evolution of the Supreme Court's involvement with the racial affirmative action issue over the last quarter century. Starting with the 1974 "DeFunis v. Odegaard" decision and the 1978" Bakke" decision, which marked the beginnings of the Court's entanglement with affirmative action, Girardeau Spann examines every major Supreme Court affirmative action decision, showing how the controversy the Court initially left unresolved in DeFunis has persisted through the Court's 1998-99 term.
Including nearly thirty principal cases, covering equal protection, voting rights, Title VII, and education, The Law of Affirmative Action is the only work to treat the Court decisions on racial affirmative action so closely, tracing the votes of each justice who has participated in the decisions. Indispensable for students and scholars, this timely volume elucidates reasons for the 180 degree turn in opinion on an issue so central to the debate on race in America today.
"Works such as A Law of Her Own expose the injustices in our
society, provide different perspectives, and stimulate discussion.
. . . Forell and Matthews' contribution to the debate should not be
Despite the apparent progress in women's legal status, the law retains a profoundly male bias, and as such contributes to the pervasive violence and injustice against women.
In A Law of Her Own, the authors propose to radically change law's fundamental paradigm by introducing a "reasonable woman standard" for measuring men's behavior. Advocating that courts apply this standard to the conduct of men-and women-in legal settings where women are overwhelmingly the injured parties, the authors seek to eliminate the victimization and objectification of women by dismantling part of the legal structure that supports their subordination.
A woman-based legal standard-focusing on respect for bodily integrity, agency, and autonomy-would help rectify the imbalance in how society and its legal system view sexual and gender-based harassment, rape, stalking, battery, domestic imprisonment, violence, and death.
Examining the bias of the existing "reasonable person" standard through analysis of various court cases and judicial decisions, A Law of Her Own aims to balance the law to incorporate women's values surrounding sex and violence.
Once dismissed as plodding and superfluous, legal scholarship is increasingly challenging the liberal white male establishment that currently dominates legal education and practice. The most significant development since the emergence of the casebook, at the turn of the century, this trend has unleashed a fierce political struggle. At stake is nothing less than the entire enterprise of law and education, and thus a powerful platform from which to shape society.
The result, here vividly recounted by Arthur Austin, has been an uncompromising, take-no-prisoners fight for dominance. The challenge comes from Outsiders, a collection of feminists, critical race theorists, and critical legal studies scholars who rely on unconventional methods such as storytelling to give voice to the underrepresented. In the other, demographically larger camp resides the monolithic Empire, consisting of traditionalists who, having developed an effective form of scholarship, now circle the wagons against the outsider heathens.
Neither partisan nor objective, Austin is both respectful and critical of each faction. The Empire, he believes, is imperious, closed-minded, and self-perpetuating; the Outsiders are too often paranoid, anti-pragmatic, and overly tolerant of fringe work. Is the new scholarship a vacuous, overpoliticized, soon-to-be-vanquished trend or the harbinger of an important new paradigm? Is reconciliation possible? Anyone with a vested interest in the answer to these questions, and in the future of law, cannot afford to miss Arthur Austin's invaluable volume.
Arthur Austin is the Edgar A. Hahn Professor of Jurisprudence at Case Western Reserve University.
This book engages with the politics of social and environmental justice, and seeks new ways to think about the future of urbanization in the twenty-first century. It establishes foundational concepts for understanding how space, time, place and nature - the material frames of daily life - are constituted and represented through social practices, not as separate elements but in relation to each other. It describes how geographical differences are produced, and shows how they then become fundamental to the exploration of political, economic and ecological alternatives to contemporary life.
The book is divided into four parts. Part I describes the problematic nature of action and analysis at different scales of time and space, and introduces the reader to the modes of dialectical thinking and discourse which are used throughout the remainder of the work. Part II examines how "nature" and "environment" have been understood and valued in relation to processes of social change and seeks, from this basis, to make sense of contemporary environmental issues.
Part III, is a wide-ranging discussion of history, geography and culture, explores the meaning of the social "production" of space and time, and clarifies problems related to "otherness" and "difference." The final part of the book deploys the foundational arguments the author has established to consider contemporary problems of social justice that have resulted from recent changes in geographical divisions of labor, in the environment, and in the pace and quality of urbanization.
"Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference" speaks to a wide readership of students of social, cultural and spatial theory and of the dynamics ofcontemporary life. It is a convincing demonstration that it is both possible and necessary to value difference and to seek a just social order.
Since the fall of communism, laissez-faire capitalism has experienced renewed popularity. Flush with victory, the United States has embraced a particularly narrow and single-minded definition of capitalism and aggressively exported it worldwide. The defining trait of this brand of capitalism is an unwavering reverence for the icons of the market. Although promoted as a laissez-faire form of capitalism, it actually reflects the very evils of selfishness and greed by entrepreneurs that concerned Adam Smith.
Capitalism, however, can thrive without an extreme emphasis on efficiency and personal autonomy. Americans often forget that theirs is a rather peculiar form of capitalism, that other Western nations successfully maintain capitalistic systems that are fundamentally more balanced and nuanced in their effect on society. The unnecessarily inhumane aspects of American capitalism become apparent when compared to Canadian and Western European societies, with their more generous policies regarding affirmative action, accommodation for disabled persons, and family and medical leave for pregnant woman and their partners.
In American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism, Ruth Colker examines how American law purports to reflect--and actively promotes--a laissez-faire capitalism that disproportionately benefits the entrepreneurial class. Colker proposes that the quality of American life depends also on fairness and equality rather than simply the single-minded and formulaic pursuit of efficiency and utility.
Emmanuel Levinas's philosophy of ethics has frequently attracted attention amongst legal scholars, but he remains a divisive and often enigmatic contributor to this field. He has been read within contexts as varied as human rights, private law, refugee law, and on the nature of judicial reasoning. This book explores what might unite such apparently diverse applications of his ideas, and in doing so considers the challenge of law's ethical relationship with the other. In addition to asking how Levinas's ethics can inform legal problems, the book also examines the ways in which the modern legal edifice has a deceptive tendency to close itself off from the ethical experience. In particular, literatures on biopolitics suggest that law is increasingly complicit in reductive determinations of how we understand ourselves and others. Levinas's most penetrating insight might not, therefore, lie in the law's instrumentalisation of his ethics, but instead in the way his ethics trace a human encounter that escapes law.
The book examines recent developments in sources of public international law, such as treaties and custom operating among nations in their mutual relations, as well as developments in some of the primary rule of law international institutions created by the processes of public international law. It finds that public international law has become increasingly dysfunctional in dealing with some of the primary problems facing the world community, such as the maintenance of international peace and security, violations of international human rights and the law of armed conflict, arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, and international environmental issues, and that it and international institutions face a problematic future. It concludes, however, that all is not lost. There are possible alternative futures for international law and legal process, but choosing among them will require the making of hard choices by the world community.
The Anthropology of Islamic Law shows how hermeneutic theory and practice theory can be brought together to analyze cultural, legal, and religious traditions. These ideas are developed through an analysis of the Islamic legal tradition, which examines both Islamic legal doctrine and religious education. The book combines anthropology and Islamist history, using ethnography and in-depth analysis of Arabic religious texts. The book focuses on higher religious learning in contemporary Egypt, examining its intellectual, ethical, and pedagogical dimensions. Data is drawn from fieldwork inside al-Azhar University, Cairo University's Dar al-Ulum, and the network of traditional study circles associated with the al-Azhar mosque. Together these sites constitute the most important venue for the transmission of religious learning in the contemporary Muslim world. The book gives special attention to contemporary Egypt, and also provides a broader analysis relevant to Islamic legal doctrine and religious education throughout history.
Vague expressions are omnipresent in natural language. As such, their use in legal texts is virtually inevitable. If a law contains vague terms, the question whether it applies to a particular case often lacks a clear answer. One of the fundamental pillars of the rule of law is legal certainty. The determinacy of the law enables people to use it as a guide and places judges in the position to decide impartially. Vagueness poses a threat to these ideals. In borderline cases, the law seems to be indeterminate and thus incapable of serving its core rule of law value. In the philosophy of language, vagueness has become one of the hottest topics of the last two decades. Linguists and philosophers have investigated what distinguishes "soritical " vagueness from other kinds of linguistic indeterminacy, such as ambiguity, generality, open texture, and family resemblance concepts. There is a vast literature that discusses the logical, semantic, pragmatic, and epistemic aspects of these phenomena. Legal theory has hitherto paid little attention to the differences between the various kinds of linguistic indeterminacy that are grouped under the heading of "vagueness ", let alone to the various theories that try to account for these phenomena. Bringing together leading scholars working on the topic of vagueness in philosophy and in law, this book fosters a dialogue between philosophers and legal scholars by examining how philosophers conceive vagueness in law from their theoretical perspective and how legal theorists make use of philosophical theories of vagueness. The chapters of the book are organized into three parts. The first part addresses the import of different theories of vagueness for the law, referring to a wide range of theories from supervaluationist to contextualist and semantic realist accounts in order to address the question of whether the law can learn from engaging with philosophical discussions of vagueness. The second part of the book examines different vagueness phenomena. The contributions in part 2 suggest that the greater awareness to different vagueness phenomena can make lawyers aware of specific issues and solutions so far overlooked. The third part deals with the pragmatic aspects of vagueness in law, providing answers to the question of how to deal with vagueness in law and with the professional, political, moral, and ethical issues such vagueness gives rise to.
This is the third volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. Since its revival in the 1970s political philosophy has been a vibrant field in philosophy, one that intersects with jurisprudence, normative economics, political theory in political science departments, and just war theory. OSPP aims to publish some of the best contemporary work in political philosophy and these closely related subfields. This volume features ten papers and an introduction. The papers address a range of central topics and represent cutting edge work in the field. The first two parts of the volume deal with equality and justice and state legitimacy, while the final part looks at social issues that are not easily understood in terms of personal morality, yet which need not centrally involve the state.
This book argues that ignorance of law should usually be a complete excuse from criminal liability. It defends this conclusion by invoking two presumptions: first, the content of criminal law should conform to morality; second, mistakes of fact and mistakes of law should be treated symmetrically. The author grounds his position in an underlying theory of moral and criminal responsibility according to which blameworthiness consists in a defective response to the moral reasons one has. Since persons cannot be faulted for failing to respond to reasons for criminal liability they do not believe they have, then ignorance should almost always excuse. But persons are somewhat responsible for their wrongs when their mistakes of law are reckless, that is, when they consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk that their conduct might be wrong. This book illustrates this with examples and critiques the arguments to the contrary offered by criminal theorists and moral philosophers. It assesses the real-world implications for the U.S. system of criminal justice. The author describes connections between the problem of ignorance of law and other topics in moral and legal theory.
Pacifism is popular. Many hold that war is unnecessary, since
peaceful means of resolving conflict are always available, if only
we had the will to look for them. Or they believe that war is
wicked, essentially involving hatred of the enemy and carelessness
of human life. Or they posit the absolute right of innocent
individuals not to be deliberately killed, making it impossible to
justify war in practice.
This collection of essays brings together the central lines of thought in Onora O'Neill's work on Kant's philosophy, developed over many years. Challenging the claim that Kant's attempt to provide a critique of reason fails because it collapses into a dogmatic argument from authority, O'Neill shows why Kant held that we must construct, rather than assume, the authority of reason, and how this can be done by ensuring that anything we offer as reasons can be followed by others, including others with whom we disagree. She argues that this constructivist view of reasoning is the clue to Kant's claims about knowledge, ethics and politics, as well as to his distinctive accounts of autonomy, the social contract, cosmopolitan justice and scriptural interpretation. Her essays are a distinctive and illuminating commentary on Kant's fundamental philosophical strategy and its implications, and will be a vital resource for scholars of Kant, ethics and philosophy of law.
Morality and the Nature of Law explores the conceptual relationship between morality and the criteria that determine what counts as law in a given societythe criteria of legal validity. Is it necessary condition for a legal system to include moral criteria of legal validity? Is it even possible for a legal system to have moral criteria of legal validity? The book considers the views of natural law theorists ranging from Blackstone to Dworkin and rejects them, arguing that it is not conceptually necessary that the criteria of legal validity include moral norms. Further, it rejects the exclusive positivist view, arguing instead that it is conceptually possible for the criteria of validity to include moral norms. In the process of considering such questions, this book considers Raz's views concerning the nature of authority and Shapiro's views about the guidance function of law, which have been thought to repudiate the conceptual possibility of moral criteria of legal validity. The book, then, articulates a thought experiment that shows that it is possible for a legal system to have such criteria and concludes with a chapter that argues that any legal system, like that of the United States, which affords final authority over the content of the law to judges who are fallible with respect to the requirements of morality is a legal system with purely source-based criteria of validity.
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