Matthew Hale: on the Law of Nature, Reason, and Common Law

Selected Jurisprudential Writings

Author: Gerald J. Postema

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780199234929

Category: Law

Page: 256

View: 6395

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Lawyer, judge, public figure, historian, theologian, and amateur natural philosopher, Sir Matthew Hale worked and wrote in the middle decades of the seventeenth century, perhaps the most turbulent period of English political history. His reflections on reason, law, and political authority,unpublished in his lifetime, are collected in this volume. It sets Hale's previously unpublished Treatise on the Nature of Laws in General and touching the Law of Nature and his "Reflections on Mr Hobbes his Dialogue of the Laws" in context of other key works of legal and constitutional theory. TheTreatise reveals a complex general understanding of law and of moral and legal reasoning. "Reflections" brings these general considerations to bear on English law, in his critical response to Hobbes's all-out attack on common-law jurisprudence. "Reflections" suggests a conception of judicialreasoning, and a view of political authority, that deepens the view Hale defends in the longer and more systematic work. His views on practical reasoning are elaborated and related explicitly to the discipline of law in his "Preface to Rolle's Abridgement" and in parts of his History of the CommonLaw. In the Treatise, Hale argues that human law is necessarily instituted in the practices and customs of specific communities, manifesting their consent; this view is enriched and deepened in the History and "Considerations touching Amendment of the Law". His views on the foundations of politicalauthority, sounded in the Treatise, are argued at length in Prerogatives of the King and "Reflections". "Reflections" argues for necessary legal limits of ruling power and Prerogatives offers a systematic discussion of the nature and limits of political authority. Taken together, these writingsoffer a rich and subtle articulation of a classical common-law understanding of law, reason and authority. Gerald J. Postema present these seminal writings in a modernized text for readers from philosophy, law, political theory, or intellectual history. He contributes an extended introduction setting out the theoretical and historical context of the works.
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Utility, Publicity, and Law

Essays on Bentham's Moral and Legal Philosophy

Author: Gerald J. Postema

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0198793170

Category:

Page: 336

View: 5587

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A collection of essays reassessing Jeremy Bentham's strikingly original legal philosophy.
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Bentham and the Common Law Tradition

Author: Gerald Postema

Publisher: Clarendon Law

ISBN: 0198793057

Category: Law

Page: 608

View: 4544

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This work explores the relationship between Bentham's utilitarian practical philosophy and his positivist jurisprudence. These theories appear to be in tension because his utilitarian commitment to the sovereignty of utility as a practical decision principle seems inconsistent with his positivist insistence on the sovereignty of the will of the lawmaker. Two themes emerge from the attempt in this work to reconcile these two core elements of Bentham's practical thought. First, Bentham's conception of law does not fit the conventional model of legal positivism. Bentham was not just a utilitarian and a positivist; he was a positivist by virtue of his commitment to a utilitarian understanding of the fundamental task of law. Moreover, his emphasis on the necessary publicity and the systemic character of law, led him to insist on an essential role for utilitarian reasons in the regular public functioning of law. Second, Bentham's radical critique of common law theory and practice convinced him of the necessity to reconcile the need for certainty of law with an equally great need for its flexibility. He eventually developed a constitutional framework for adjudication in the shadow of codified law that accorded to judges discretion to decide particular cases according to their best judgment of the balance of utilities, guaranteeing the accountability and appropriate motivation of judicial decision-making through institutional incentives. The original text of this work, first published in 1986, remains largely unchanged, but an afterword reconsiders and revises some themes in response to criticism.
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A Treatise of Legal Philosophy and General Jurisprudence

Volume 11: Legal Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: The Common Law World

Author: Gerald J. Postema

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9048189608

Category: Philosophy

Page: 618

View: 5842

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Volume 11, the sixth of the historical volumes of A Treatise of Legal Philosophy and General Jurisprudence, offers a fresh, philosophically engaged, critical interpretation of the main currents of jurisprudential thought in the English-speaking world of the 20th century. It tells the tale of two lectures and their legacies: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s “The Path of Law” (1897) and H.L.A. Hart’s Holmes Lecture, “Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals” (1958). Holmes’s radical challenge to late 19th century legal science gave birth to a rich variety of competing approaches to understanding law and legal reasoning from realism to economic jurisprudence to legal pragmatism, from recovery of key elements of common law jurisprudence and rule of law doctrine in the work of Llewellyn, Fuller and Hayek to root-and-branch attacks on the ideology of law by the Critical Legal Studies and Feminist movements. Hart, simultaneously building upon and transforming the undations of Austinian analytic jurisprudence laid in the early 20th century, introduced rigorous philosophical method to English-speaking jurisprudence and offered a reinterpretation of legal positivism which set the agenda for analytic legal philosophy to the end of the century and beyond. A wide-ranging debate over the role of moral principles in legal reasoning, sparked by Dworkin’s fundamental challenge to Hart’s theory, generated competing interpretations of and fundamental challenges to core doctrines of Hart’s positivism, including the nature and role of conventions at the foundations of law and the methodology of philosophical jurisprudence.
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Report

Author: National Humanities Center (U.S.)

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Education

Page: N.A

View: 6654

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