Where Law and Morality Meet

Where Law and Morality Meet

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Description

How are law and morality connected, how do they interact, and in what ways are they distinct? These questions have been a fundamental concern in the modern analytic philosophy of law. In Where Law and Morality Meet Matthew Kramer reviews the most influential accounts of legal and moral reasoning and presents his own conception of whether moral principles should be incorporated into a concept of law.

In Part One, Kramer argues that moral principles can enter into the law of any jurisdiction. He contends that legal officials can invoke moral principles as laws for resolving disputes, and that they can also invoke them as threshold tests which ordinary laws must satisfy. In opposition to many other theorists, Kramer argues that these functions of moral principles are consistent with the essential characteristics of any legal system.

Part Two reaffirms the legal positivist argument that law and morality are separable, arguing against the position of natural-law theory, which portrays legal requirements as a species of moral requirements. Kramer contends that even though the existence of a legal system in any sizeable society is essential for the realization of fundamental moral values, law is not inherently moral either in its effects or in its motivational underpinnings.

In the final part, Kramer contests the widespread view that people whose conduct is meticulously careful cannot be held morally responsible for harmful effects of their actions. Through this argument, he reveals that fault-independent liability is present even more prominently in morality than in the law.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 155 x 233 x 16mm | 500g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199546134
  • 9780199546138
  • 871,367

Table of contents

PREFACE ; CONTENTS ; INTRODUCTION ; PART I - WHERE LAW AND MORALITY MEET: LEGAL POSITIVISM AND THE IDENTIFICATION OF LEGAL NORMS ; CHAPTER 1: HOW MORAL PRINCIPLES CAN ENTER INTO THE LAW ; CHAPTER 2: THROWING LIGHT ON THE ROLE OF MORAL PRINCIPLES IN THE LAW: FURTHER REFLECTIONS ; CHAPTER 3: ON MORALITY AS A NECESSARY OR SUFFICIENT CONDITION FOR LEGALITY ; CHAPTER 4: OF FINAL THINGS: MORALITY AS ONE OF THE ULTIMATE DETERMINANTS OF LEGAL VALIDITY ; PART II - WHERE LAW AND MORALITY DIVERGE: LEGAL POSITIVISM REAFFIRMED ; CHAPTER 5: LEGAL POSITIVISM DEFENDED ; CHAPTER 6: ON THE MORAL STATUS OF THE RULE OF LAW ; CHAPTER 7: ON THE SEPARABILITY OF LAW AND MORALITY ; PART III - FROM LEGAL PHILOSOPHY TO MORAL PHILOSOPHY: AFFINITIES BETWEEN LAW AND MORALITY ; CHAPTER 8: MORAL RIGHTS AND THE LIMITS OF THE 'OUGHT'-IMPLIES-'CAN' PRINCIPLE: WHY IMPECCABLE INTENTIONS ARE NO EXCUSE
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Review quote

That Kramer's prior work in this area has already received so much critical attention itself suggests that anyone interested in contemporary legal theory would benefit from this book's careful review of the contemporary lanscape of legal positivism and its subtle and often pursuasive arguments advancing those horizons. * Brian D. Berry, Law & Phiosophy Program, University of Texas *
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About Matthew H. Kramer

Matthew H. Kramer is Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Churchill College, and Director of the Cambridge Forum for Legal and Political Philosophy.
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