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Freedom, Benefit And Understanding: Reflections On Laurence Claus's Critique Of Authority, John Finnis Nov 2014

Freedom, Benefit And Understanding: Reflections On Laurence Claus's Critique Of Authority, John Finnis

Journal Articles

Written for a symposium in the University of San Diego Law School in September 2013 on Laurence Claus, Law’s Evolution and Human Understanding (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), this article appears in the final issue of volume 52 of the San Diego Law Review. With new illustrations and considerations suggested by the book, the article argues for a number of theses: “Because I/we say so” is never a reasonable ground or formulation of authoritative acts such as enactments or parental or other orders. The moral authority of rule makers is never peremptory in a binary (all or ...


The Conceits Of Our Legal Imagination: Legal Fictions And The Concept Of Deemed Authorship, Alina Ng Boyte Jan 2014

The Conceits Of Our Legal Imagination: Legal Fictions And The Concept Of Deemed Authorship, Alina Ng Boyte

Journal Articles

Legal fictions contain embedded nuggets of information about social reality and reveal important aspects of human society. However, the use of legal fictions may also obscure important information or fundamental questions about law and its role in shaping society. These fictions become institutionalized without a clear understanding of their function. When that happens, fallacious assumptions about human behavior and social relationships transform into binding principles that set the course for future legal development, potentially resulting in legal rules that are completely dissociated from social, historical, or cultural reality. This article explores the concept of deemed authorship as a legal fiction ...


What Is The Philosophy Of Law?, John Finnis Jan 2014

What Is The Philosophy Of Law?, John Finnis

Journal Articles

The philosophy of law is not separate from but dependent upon ethics and political philosophy, which it extends by that attention to the past (of sources, constitutions, contracts, acquired rights, etc.) which is characteristic of juridical thought for reasons articulated by the philosophy of law. Positivism is legitimate only as a thesis of, or topic within, natural law theory, which adequately incorporates it but remains transparently engaged with the ethical and political issues and challenges both perennial and peculiar to this age. The paper concludes by proposing a task for legal philosophy, in light of the fact that legal systems ...