Sunday, 26 September 2010

Trinity Term 2004

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Week 1
Tue, 27 Apr

Farewell to the Exclusive-Inclusive Debate [download paper]
Danny Priel
Doctoral student, Magdalen College, Oxford

In recent years there has been an ongoing debate between ‘exclusive’ and ‘inclusive’ legal positivists. The paper argues that both views are mistaken, as they both share one mistaken assumption, viz. that when the law mentions moral words (like ‘equality’ or ‘justice’), it refers to moral concepts. The paper shows that this assumption is false, and consequently that the exclusive-inclusive debate should be abandonded.

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Week 2
Tue, 4 May

Joint Commitment and Individual Freedom
Vesselin Paskalev
Visiting student, Wolfson College, Oxford

The social fact that we sometimes feel or indeed have obligations to various groups to which we belong is advanced by some (e.g., Margaret Gilbert) as grounds for legitimation of political obligations. However, individual freedom seems lost in this account. I propose a way of justifying political obligations on similar grounds without forgoing freedom by suggesting the requirement of actual participation as a source and limit to these obligations.

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Week 3
Wed, 12 May

The One True Interpretation
Timothy Endicott
Lecturer in Law, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Balliol College

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Week 4
Tue, 18 May

Luc J. Wintgens

Legisprudence: A New Theory of Legislation [download paper]
Professor of Law and Jurisprudence, University of Brussels, and European Academy of Legal Theory, Brussels

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Week 5
Tue, 25 May

Harm, Offence and Mill's Conception of Liberty [download paper]
Jorge Menezes Oliveira
Doctoral student, Wolfson College, Oxford

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Week 6
Tue, 1 Jun

An Empirical Theory of Value
James E. Petts
BCL student, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford

It is commonly accepted as true that one cannot derive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’, but such a stipulation is irreconcilable with the equally popular proposition that existance is exhausted by physical reality. I will argue that value, and the related concepts of purpose, the right, importance and reason, are created by the existence of life, and that truths about the nature and genesis of these concepts, just like truths about the nature and genesis of life, can only be arrived at by reasoning from empirical observations of physical reality. Such reasoning supports, I then argue, conclusions about value that support an account of the concept broadly consistent with classical utilitarianism.

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Week 7
Tue, 8 Jun

Two Objections to Luck Egalitarianism [download paper]
Gerald Lang
Fellow of University College

This article considers two objections to the doctrine of ‘luck egalitarianism’. The first of them, derived from work by Susan Hurley, is the ‘Egalitarian Fallacy’. The second of them, which builds on an insight of Hurley’s, is titled the ‘See-Saw Objection’. Both objections attack luck egalitarianism’s policy of using an individual’s bad luck to ground redistribution. It is argued that luck egalitarianism can deflect the Egalitarian Fallacy, but not the See-Saw Objection. The concluding section assesses the level of damage on luck egalitarianism inflicted by the See-Saw Objection, and plots some future trajectories for those broadly sympathetic to the luck egalitarian project.

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Week 8
Tue, 15 Jun

The Justice of Adjudication and Social Justice
John O'Dowd
Member of the Faculty of Law at University College, Dublin, and doctoral student in Wolfson College, Oxford

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