Law, Shared Activities, and Obligation
journal contributionposted on 03.02.2015, 12:31 by Stefano Bertea
[From Introduction] The contemporary debate in analytical legal philosophy is shaped by two truisms about law which jurisprudents have not yet managed to coherently work into a comprehensive theoretical framework. On the one hand, it seems to be a plain truth that the existence of law is essentially a matter of social facts, as is attested by the existence of legal systems that are recognized to function as such and yet have little or no moral worth and may even strike most people (including their addressees) as morally repugnant. On the other hand, only a handful of legal theorists are prepared to give up the claim that law presumptively provides its addressees with practical guidance and justification, thereby taking a normative stance by proffering distinctive reasons for action, while conferring rights and imposing obligations. Accommodating these two truisms about law is far from a straightforward exercise.