Law as a moral idea
Oxford University Press, 2007 - 209 ページ
This book argues that the institutions of law and the structures of legal thought are best understood by referencing the moral ideals of freedom and independence from the power of others.
In making this claim, the author rejects the viewpoint of much contemporary legal theory, and seeks to move jurisprudence closer to an older tradition of philosophical reflection upon law, exemplified by Hobbes and Kant. According to most contemporary legal theorists, the understanding and analysis of existing institutions is quite distinct from any enterprise of moral reflection, but Nigel Simmonds suggests that the relationship between ideals and practices is much more intimate than this approach would suggest. In Law as a Moral Ideal he posits that some institutions can be properly understood only when they are viewed as imperfect attempts to realize moral or political ideals, and some ideals can be conceived only by reference to their expression in institutions.
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