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Vol 22 No 5 May/June 2017

Book of the Month

Cover of Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt

Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt

Edited by: Patricia Londono, David Eady, A.T.H. Smith, Rt. Hon Lord Eassie
Price: £319.00

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Law's Moral Indifference


ISBN13: 9781849460149
To be Published: March 2018
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £60.00



We usually pay far less attention to what the law actually tells us than to the possible consequences of our disobeying it. Yet, if we try to take it at face value, we discover that the law expects us to comply not out of fear of the harmful consequences of disobedience, but because it is the law that tells us to do this or that that, at least, seems to be the law's claim. Whence does this authority over our lives derive, and why should we take the fact that it is the law that tells us to do something as a reason to do it? Legal positivism, by far the most influential theoretical doctrine on what the law is, insists that our being under a legal obligation cannot in any way entail that we should really act accordingly.

Positivists claim that if we are really to act as the law requires us to, this is not because of some supposed general moral obligation to obey the law, but rather because we think that we personally have a concrete moral, or other, reason of our own, to act thus. Yet, according to positivists, whether we happen to morally approve of the law's requirements or not is a matter of indifference to the law: law doesn't need morality in order to exist or to become knowable. For positivists the law is the law whether we like it or not. Despite its intuitive plausibility this thesis - of law's moral indifference - does not go unchallenged. This book traces the developments that established legal positivism as an almost insurmountable horizon in legal theory. But it also attempts to show that modern positivism's enduring success is due to the gradual abandonment of its core position on law's moral indifference, which, paradoxically, renders it less and less positivistic.

Subjects:
Jurisprudence

Series: Law and Practical Reason

The Nature and Value of Vagueness in the Law ISBN 9781849466066
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Freedom and Force: Essays on Kant's Legal Philosophy (eBook) ISBN 9781782253075
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Freedom and Force: Essays on Kant's Legal Philosophy ISBN 9781849463164
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Private Law and the Value of Choice ISBN 9781841138862
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Law and Authority under the Guise of the Good ISBN 9781509908448
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Shared Authority: Courts and Legislatures in Legal Theory ISBN 9781849463898
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Shared Authority: Courts and Legislatures in Legal Theory (eBook) ISBN 9781782255116
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£20.82 + £4.17 VAT
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Hart Publishing
£19.16 + £3.83 VAT
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Law and Authority under the Guise of the Good ISBN 9781849464499
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£21.66 + £4.33 VAT
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Hannah Arendt and the Law ISBN 9781849464970
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Law, Virtue and Justice ISBN 9781849461757
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Law, Virtue and Justice (eBook) ISBN 9781782250333
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The Logic of Autonomy: Law, Morality and Autonomous Reasoning ISBN 9781849463461
Published November 2012
Hart Publishing
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The Logic of Autonomy: Law, Morality and Autonomous Reasoning (eBook) ISBN 9781782250203
Published November 2012
Hart Publishing
£54.16 + £10.83 VAT
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Hannah Arendt and the Law ISBN 9781849461436
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New Essays on the Normativity of Law (eBook) ISBN 9781847318237
Published August 2011
Hart Publishing
£58.33 + £11.66 VAT
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New Essays on the Normativity of Law ISBN 9781849462389
Published August 2011
Hart Publishing
£70.00
£54.16 + £10.83 VAT
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The Normative Claim of Law (eBook) ISBN 9781847317254
Published October 2009
Hart Publishing
£62.49 + £12.50 VAT
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The Normative Claim of Law ISBN 9781841139678
Published October 2009
Hart Publishing
£75.00
A Fair Criminal Law ISBN 9781849463768

Hart Publishing
Publication Abandoned