Trinity Term 2005


Week 1
Tue, 26 Apr

Morality and Private Warriors
Tony Coady
Professor of Philosophy in the University of Melbourne

From the author: 'The paper raises some questions about the moral status of mercenary warriors that is of some relevance to national and international law. It's a chapter in a book I'm writing on "Morality and Political Violence".'


Week 2
Tue, 3 May

Justice and Multinational Federalism
Helder de Schutter
Doctoral student, Leuven

In this paper I critically examine existing normative theories of multinational federalism. I argue that many such theories succeed in demonstrating why justice requires granting national groups the right to self-government, but in the process fail to offer a normative grounding of the federal level of the multination state. Drawing on an extension of what Rawls calls "the fact of reasonable pluralism", I develop a suggestion to solve this normative lack, arguing that federalism should mainly be understood as a fair mechanism for dealing with cross-cutting and divergent identities.


Week 3
Wed, 11 May

Multiple Principles and the Obligation to Obey the Law [download paper]
Nkiruka Ahiauzu
Lecturer in Law, Department of Law, University of Wales at Aberystwuth

George Klosko's multiple principle theory of political obligation is a most recent formulation for the existence of a general obligation to obey the law, consisting of a combination of fair play, natural duty, and the common good. In the paper we argue that the generality requirement of the obligation to obey the law has normative and factual problems of, respectively, motivation and comprehensiveness. We aim to show that whereas the multiple principle theory may solve the factual problem of the generality requirement, it does not solve its normative problem, which is a first-personal implication of the question 'why should I obey the law?'


Week 4
Tue, 17 May

Leiter's Naturalized Jurisprudence
Hans Oberdiek
Professor of philosophy, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania


Week 5
Tue, 23 May

On the Old Saw, "Every reading of a text is an interpretation": Some Remarks [download paper]
Theory, Practice and Ubiquitous Interpretation: The Basics [download paper]
Martin Stone
Professor of Law in the Cardozo Law School, New York


Week 6
Tue, 31 May

Dworkin and Incompletely Theorised Judgments
Emmanuel Fernando
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Philippines, and Professional Lecturer in the UP College of Law

The paper will criticize Dworkin's theory of constitutional interpretation from the perspective of exclusive legal positivism.


Week 7
Mon, 6 Jun

General Jurisprudence [download paper]
William Twining
Emeritus Quain Professor of Jurisprudence in the Faculty of Laws, University College London

This is a draft of a paper that I am giving at a World Congress in Granada in May. Part I summarises a position developed at length elsewhere. Part II is a response to criticisms and queries raised about my earlier writings about General Jurisprudence. Part III is a preliminary statement that needs development. In my oral presentation here I shall focus on Part II (b), (c) and (d). Questions and comments on any aspects of the paper will, of course, be welcome.


Week 8
Wed, 14 Jun

The Practice of Legal Validity [download paper]
Alexi Patsaouras
BPhil student, Magdalen College, Oxford

I will present a section of an M.Phil. dissertation in which I analyze Hart's practice theory of rules, and his distinction between moral and legal validity, in light of Wittgenstein's rule-following considerations and several strands in the private language argument. I will first quickly outline part of Cora Diamond's reading of Wittgenstein's attack on a truth conditional account of meaning and his attempt to get us to look at our practice of using words in order to unpack their meaning. I will then build on Joseph Raz's theory of authority in order to lay the groundwork for an attempt to flesh out the concept of legal validity, and its connection to moral reasons for action, through a study of the practice of applying that concept.


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