Michaelmas Term 2003
Tue, 14 Oct: no meeting this week
Tue, 21 Oct
Interpretivist Theories of Law [link]
University Lecturer in Legal Theory in the
University of Oxford
The paper aims to correct some common misunderstandings about interpretivism as a theory about the nature of law and provide some arguments in its defence.
Tue, 28 Oct
The Identity of Legal and Political Philosophy
Mansfield College, Oxford
Many philosophers say that legal philosophy is a distinct kind of philosophy in order to insulate law from the political debates that divide theories of justice and the state. Yet, the position was strained when Kelsen put it forward and it remains so today. The paper offers some new arguments why (a) jurisprudence is not a description of anything, (b) jurisprudence is not a history of anything, and (c) jurisprudence is political philosophy.
Tue, 4 Nov
On Positivism's Inclusive/Exclusive Debate
Balliol College, and Legal Research Institute, Mexico's National University
The paper tackles the debate between Joseph Raz’s exclusive positivism and Jules Coleman’s objections to it in The Practice of Principle.The paper raises some doubts regarding Coleman’s version of positivism and particularly his interpretation of the practical difference thesis.
Tue, 11 Nov
The Fallacies of Objections to Selective Conscientious Objection [download paper]
Doctoral student in
Somerville College, Oxford
Legislators and courts worldwide insist on distinguishing between absolute conscientious objection (pacifism) and objection to particular wars. The paper assesses the justifications to this distinction and finds them wanting. Current affairs make the investigation of this issue all the more relevant.
Tue, 18 Nov
A Specification to the Coherence Theory of Punishment's Justification [download paper]
Professor of Law,
Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University, New York
Tue, 25 Nov
Then and Now:
The Natural/Positivist Nexus at War - Auden’s “September 1,
at Aberystwyth University of Wales
Auden’s poem exhibits a fractured rationality at its heart and the point of fracture laid it open to subsequent popular and political metabolisations. In revisiting this reception, the paper considers whether such colonisation provides a more general lesson – whether such ‘fracture’ holds broad implications for the ‘tensile’ properties of theory. Click here for Auden's poem.
Wed, 3 Dec
Interpretation in Law [download paper]
Rutgers University School of Law ( ) Camden
The draft I plan to discuss with you is at a point where I can benefit from all manner of criticism of the project. As you will see, my view of interpretation is the product of my more fundamental view of law. Thus, it may rightly be said that the success of my account of interpretation depends, at least in part, on the success of my underlying view of law as a practice of argument.The draft is compressed in places where I need to be more capacious in developing my argument. Notwithstanding this compression, I am sure the argument is developed enough for it to be profitably criticized, and I look forward to engaging with you on the topic of interpretation in law.