By Matthew H. Kramer
During this wide-ranging research of many well known concerns in modern criminal, political, and ethical philosophy, Matthew Kramer combines penetrating reviews with unique theorizing as he examines the writings of various significant theorists (including Ronald Dworkin, H. L. A. Hart, Alan Gewirth, David Lyons, Ronald Coase, John Finnis, Jules Coleman, Anthony Kronman, and Richard Posner). whereas Kramer argues with the rigor that's the hallmark of the culture of analytic philosophy, his inquiries expand not just to that culture but in addition to such different traditions as Aristotelianism and Continental philosophy and criminal Realism.
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Additional resources for In the Realm of Legal and Moral Philosophy: Critical Encounters
I do not care a straw for death; but... I do care very much indeed about not doing anything unjust or impious .... When we left the council-chamber, the other four went over to Salamis and brought Leon across to Athens; I went home. And if the rule of The Thirty had not been overthrown soon afterwards, I should very likely have been put to death. 3 This story does indeed powerfully illustrate the attractiveness of the notion that it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong. Now, Finnis is concerned to stress the importance of Socrates' principle - henceforth, the 'S Principle' - in order to stress the importance of what he sees as the consequentialist theorists' inability to espouse that principle without self-contradiction.
Nonetheless, in light of two closely related considerations, the stance adopted here is notably different from that of Lyons and is indeed an espousal of the doctrine which he assails. First, although the decisions resulting from the procedurally just enforcement of wicked laws are neither obligatory nor legitimate to any degree, the enforcement does partake of a certain moral import by virtue of being procedurally just. Specifically, procedural justice ensures that official conduct in the administration of laws is no worse (and no better) than what is required by the substantive standards of fairness in the laws themselves.
As will be contended, Lyons has failed to disclose any serious difficulties in the procedural-justice position. Given that one chief strand of my essay builds on a confrontation between David Lyons and H. L. A. Hart - each of whom should be classed as a legal positivist - it is quite plain that the points at issue do not mark a neat division between legal positivism and naturallaw theory. Instead, the controversy over procedural justice is mainly (though not exclusively) an intrapositivist dispute.