Readings in the Philosophy of Law

Readings in the Philosophy of Law

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This anthology of classical and contemporary philosophical essays and legal cases focuses on legal philosophy as its own subject-rather than as merely a topic in applied ethics or an aspect of social/political philosophy. The essays within this reader focus on the different aspects and areas of law and the particular philosophical issues that they raises. The book requires students to think through actual debates-many of them still currently in the courts.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 668 pages
  • 177.8 x 235 x 31.8mm | 938.95g
  • Pearson
  • United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • 3rd New edition
  • 013027741X
  • 9780130277411

Table of contents


1. The Adversary System and the Practice of Law.

Lawyers' Ethics in an Adversary System, Monroe H. Freedman.

An Alternative to the Adversary System, John H. Langbein.

Pure Legal Advocates and Moral Agents: Two Concepts of a Lawyer in an Adversary System, Elliot D. Cohen. [new]

2. The Rule of Law.

Rule of Law and the English Constitution, A.V. Dicey. [new]

Eight Ways to Fail to Make Law, Lon Fuller.

The Rule of Law and Its Virtues, Joseph Raz.

Grudge Informers and the Rule of Law, H.L.A. Hart.

The Problem of the Grudge Informer, Lon Fuller.

Detention of Enemy Combatants, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. [new]

3. The Moral Force of Law.

Crito, Plato.

The Justification of Civil Disobedience, John Rawls.

On Not Prosecuting Civil Disobedience, Ronald Dworkin.


4. Statutes.

Interpreting the Adultery Clause of the Ten Commandments, Sanford Levinson.

Interpreting the Small Bird Act, Regina v. Ojibway.

A Case Study: Interpreting the Mann Act, Edward H. Levi.

Cases Interpreting the Mann Act, Caminetti v. U.S.; Mortensen v. U.S.; and Cleveland v. U.S.

Interpretation, Tony Honore.

Who is a Drunk Driver? Kentucky v. Whitt.

What is a Vegetable? Nix v. Hadden.

"Use" of a Firearm, Smith v. U.S. [new]

Can a Murderer Inherit? Riggs v. Palmer.

5. Precedents.

Stare Decisis: The Use of Precedent, C. Gordon Post.

Constrained by Precedent, Larry Alexander.

Precedent and Ligitimacy, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

6. Constitutional Interpretation [new section and readings]

"Vague" Constitutional Clauses, Ronald Dworkin.

Due Process, Rochin v. California

Interpreting the Constitution, Antonin Scalia.

A Response to Scalia, Ronald Dworkin.The Second Amendment, District of Co
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