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On Dancy’S Account Of Practical Reasoning, Joseph Raz Jan 2019

On Dancy’S Account Of Practical Reasoning, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

Dancy's main thesis is that the conclusion of practical reasoning is an action, and indeed that makes the reasoning practical. I trace his argument, suggest improvements to its superficial deficiencies, and conclude that it fails because Dancy misunderstands the nature of reasoning.


Choice Theory: A Restatement, Michael A. Heller, Hanoch Dagan Jan 2019

Choice Theory: A Restatement, Michael A. Heller, Hanoch Dagan

Faculty Scholarship

Choice theory advances a liberal approach to contract law. It brings jurisprudential coherence to the field, explains many puzzling doctrines, and offers a normatively-attractive reform program. In the years since choice theory first appeared, dozens of scholars have subjected it to the most rigorous scrutiny. As a result, choice theory has emerged stronger. This chapter restates the theory, and brings it up-to-date.

First, we refine the concept of autonomy for contract. Then we address range, limit, and floor, three principles that together justify contract law in a liberal society. The first concerns the state’s obligation proactively to facilitate availability ...


The Illusion Of Influence: On Foucault, Nietzsche, And A Fundamental Misunderstanding, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2019

The Illusion Of Influence: On Foucault, Nietzsche, And A Fundamental Misunderstanding, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

We often say that Foucault was influenced by Nietzsche or, more simply, that Foucault was Nietzschean. That is a gross misunderstanding that fundamentally distorts our reading of Foucault’s writings and, worse, does violence to the critical method. Foucault was no more Nietzschean than he was “mad” because he studied madness or “neoliberal” because he studied Gary Becker’s economic writings. Instead, Foucault took Nietzsche’s discourse as an object of study – in a similar way that he took the discourse of madness, of the prison, and of sexuality as objects of study throughout his intellectual lifetime. Writings of Nietzsche ...


Normative Powers (Revised), Joseph Raz Jan 2019

Normative Powers (Revised), Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The paper provides an analysis of normative powers as the ability to change a normative condition, and distinguishes and analyse several kinds of such powers. The revision affects mainly the analysis of such types. The main theses of the paper concern the distinction between basic from chained powers and the account of the relations between the normative powers and the values which explain and justify their existence. It ends by showing the connection between the thesis that values depend on human nature and culture and the dependence of normative powers on justifying reasons.


Critique & Praxis: A Pure Theory Of Illusions, Values, And Tactics, And An Answer To The Question: "What Is To Be Done?", Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2018

Critique & Praxis: A Pure Theory Of Illusions, Values, And Tactics, And An Answer To The Question: "What Is To Be Done?", Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

We are going through an unprecedented period of political instability. With the rise of the alt-right and of xenophobic sentiment, and the fallout of neoliberal government policies, our political future is at stake. These times call for the type of critical theory and praxis that gave rise to the Frankfurt School in the 1920s and to the critical ferment of the 1970s. Yet, in the face of our crises today, contemporary critical theory seems disarmed.

Critical theory is in disarray because of a wave of anti-foundational challenges in the 1960s that shattered the epistemological foundations of the Frankfurt School. The ...


Identity And Social Bonds, Joseph Raz Jan 2018

Identity And Social Bonds, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

I first argue that there is no problem about how to justify partialities (though there is a difficulty in justifying impartialities). Then I consider the role of consent in justifying rights and duties, using voluntary associations as a case in which consent has an important but limited role in doing so, a role determined and circumscribed by evaluative considerations. The values explain why consent can bind and bind one to act as one does not wish to do and even as one judges to be ill advised. That opens the way to an explanation of how value considerations relate to ...


Does Labour Law Need Philosophical Foundations? (Introduction), Gillian L. Lester, Hugh Collins, Virginia Mantouvalou Jan 2018

Does Labour Law Need Philosophical Foundations? (Introduction), Gillian L. Lester, Hugh Collins, Virginia Mantouvalou

Faculty Scholarship

This is the introductory chapter of the book Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law (Collins, Lester, Mantouvalou eds, OUP, 2018). It argues that labour law needs philosophical foundations and explains that careful reflection about underlying moral and political principles and values can serve to provide firm foundations and a clear sense of direction for labour law. At a time when many appear to doubt the value of labour laws and workers’ rights at all, the chapter suggests that it is necessary to reassert that the values and principles that provide the foundations for a system of labour law are not those ...


The Moral Significance Of Sacrifice, Joseph Raz Jan 2017

The Moral Significance Of Sacrifice, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The paper offers a few reflections on moral implications of making sacrifices and of possible duties to make sacrifices. It does not provide an exhaustive or a systematic account of the subject. There are too many disparate questions, and too many distant perspectives from which to examine them to allow for a systematic let alone an exhaustive account, and too many factual issues that I am not aware of. Needless to say, the observations that follow are in part stimulated by the popularity of some views that are mistaken. I will not however examine any specific view or account of ...


Can Moral Principles Change?, Joseph Raz Jan 2017

Can Moral Principles Change?, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The paper considers the main arguments against the possibility that basic normative principles can change, and finds them wanting. The principal argument discussed derives from the claim that normative considerations are intelligible, and therefore that they can be explained, and their explanations presuppose the prior existence of basic normative principles. The intelligibility thesis is affirmed but the implication that basic change is impossible is denied. Subsumptive explanations are contrasted with explanations by analogy. Later in the paper, other objections are considered more briefly: that normative properties are queer, that they are unconnected to the rest of reality, and therefore cannot ...


Law And Moral Dilemmas, Bert I. Huang Jan 2017

Law And Moral Dilemmas, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

If your self-driving Volvo suddenly must decide whether to swerve into one pedestrian in order to avoid crashing into five others, what should it do? The thought experiment known as the “trolley problem” – long invoked in controversies from bioethics to capital punishment to climate change – has enjoyed a recent surge of attention, thanks to its uncanny resemblance to choices that driverless cars may have to face. In this essay, first I review Frances Kamm’s book, The Trolley Problem Mysteries, which reveals the unsettled state of philosophical debates about this classic dilemma. Next I report findings from randomized experiments I ...


Intention And Motivation, Joseph Raz Jan 2017

Intention And Motivation, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

What is the role of intentions in the actions intended? What do they contribute, and how do they contribute to the occurrence of the intended actions?

The paper will offer an account of acting with an intention and of having an intention to act. It will not offer an account of intentional action, merely suggesting that when intentional actions are not actions done with an intention, their explanation as intentional relates to that of actions with intentions, showing how like them and unlike them they are. Motivation will be discussed mainly to distinguish its role in leading to action from ...


Comments On The Morality Of Freedom, Joseph Raz Jan 2016

Comments On The Morality Of Freedom, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The paper mixes comments on the ambitions that motivated writing The Morality of Freedom with observations on comments on the book, made at a conference in Jerusalem in 2016, by Japa Pallikkathayil, Avishai Margalit, Michael Otsuka, Jon Quong, Daniel Viehoff, Asaf Sharon and Arudra Burra. It acknowledges some of the critical points made while resisting others. Its strives to combine clarification of some of the themes in the book with recognition that its ideas require further development, and can be developed in various directions.


Driverless Cars And The Much Delayed Tort Law Revolution, Andrzej Rapaczynski Jan 2016

Driverless Cars And The Much Delayed Tort Law Revolution, Andrzej Rapaczynski

Faculty Scholarship

The most striking development in the American tort law of the last century was the quick rise and fall of strict manufacturers’ liability for the huge social losses associated with the use of industrial products. The most important factor in this process has been the inability of the courts and academic commentators to develop a workable theory of design defects, resulting in a wholesale return of negligence as the basis of products liability jurisprudence. This article explains the reasons for this failure and argues that the development of digital technology, and the advent of self-driving cars in particular, is likely ...


The Guise Of The Bad, Joseph Raz Jan 2015

The Guise Of The Bad, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

My remarks will focus primarily on the connection between the thesis of the Guise of the Good, and actions under the Guise of the Bad. I distinguish and discuss separately two versions of the Guise of the Bad thesis. The normative version claims that it is possible to perform an action that one believes to be bad (to have bad-making features) and for the reason that it is, as the agent believes, bad. The motive version claims that an agent can, without having any relevant false beliefs, perform actions motivated by the badness of those actions, namely by features of ...


The Influence Of Juridical Cant On Edificatory Approaches In 21st-Century America, David Pozen Jan 2015

The Influence Of Juridical Cant On Edificatory Approaches In 21st-Century America, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This essay reframes the debate over the "growing disjunction" between legal scholarship and legal practice. Law review articles continue to make the world a better place, the essay stipulates. But are judicial opinions becoming less useful to students and scholars? A rigorous analysis and concrete prescriptions follow.


Intention And Value, Joseph Raz Jan 2015

Intention And Value, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The paper sketches the role of reasons and intentions in leading to action with an intention, explaining the way possession of rational powers transforms the formation of intentions. Part One explains how when humans act with an intention they act in the belief that there is value in the action. Part Two explains the relative role of value and intention in “producing” the action, and relates their role to that of motivation.


Value And The Weight Of Practical Reasons, Joseph Raz Jan 2014

Value And The Weight Of Practical Reasons, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

Assuming that the value of options (actions, activities or omissions) constitutes the proximate reason for pursuing them, I will advance some considerations that encourage doubts whether we have reason to promote or to maximise value. A proper argument would require establishing a negative: that there is no reason to promote value, or something like that. Raising doubts is less demanding: it consists in explaining some aspects of the relation between values and reasons that enable us to dispense with the doubtful thesis, by illustrating alternative relations between values and reasons. Theses such as that value should be promoted bring with ...


A Hedgehog's Unity Of Value, Joseph Raz Jan 2014

A Hedgehog's Unity Of Value, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The paper examine various interpretations of Dworkin's thesis of the Unity of Value, as expressed and defended in his book Justice for Hedgehogs. The revision (3rd June) improves the explanation of the role of interpretation regarding unity of value, and adds some other smaller points.


Normativity: The Place Of Reasoning, Joseph Raz Jan 2014

Normativity: The Place Of Reasoning, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

It is more or less common ground that an important aspect of the explanation of normativity relates it to the way Reason (our rational powers), reasons (for beliefs, emotions, actions, etc.) and reasoning, with all its varieties and domains, are inter-connected. The relation of reasoning to reasons is the topic of this this paper. It does not start from a tabula rasa. It presupposes that normativity has to do with the ability to respond rationally to reasons, and with responding to reasons with the use of our rational powers. The question is where does reasoning fit in?

I will compare ...


Why The State?, Joseph Raz Jan 2014

Why The State?, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

The paper provides a broadly sketched argument about the importance of state-law and its limits, and the way current developments in international relations and international law tend to transform it without displacing its key position among legal systems in general. It argues that state law is (at least until present time) the most comprehensive law-based social organization within its domain. A standing which is manifested by acknowledged legitimacy by those subject to it (or many of them) and sovereignty, namely independence or external bodies. The paper argues that globalisation (broadly conceived) and attending developments in international greatly reduce the sovereignty ...


The Moral Significance Of Economic Life, Andrzej Rapaczynski Jan 2013

The Moral Significance Of Economic Life, Andrzej Rapaczynski

Faculty Scholarship

Much of the modern perception of the role of economic production in human life – whether on the Left or on the Right of the political spectrum – views it as an inferior, instrumental activity oriented toward self-preservation, self-interest, or profit, and thus as essentially distinct from the truly human action concerned with moral values, justice, and various forms of self-fulfillment. This widely shared worldview is rooted, on the one hand, in the Aristotelian tradition that sees labor as a badge of slavery, and freedom as lying in the domain of politics and pure (not technical) knowledge, and, on the other hand ...


The Collapse Of The Harm Principle Redux: On Same-Sex Marriage, The Supreme Court's Opinion In United States V. Windsor, John Stuart Mill's Essay On Liberty (1859), And H. L. A. Hart's Modern Harm Principle, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2013

The Collapse Of The Harm Principle Redux: On Same-Sex Marriage, The Supreme Court's Opinion In United States V. Windsor, John Stuart Mill's Essay On Liberty (1859), And H. L. A. Hart's Modern Harm Principle, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In an article published in 1999, titled The Collapse of the Harm Principle, I argued that the harm principle, originally articulated in John Stuart Mill’s essay On Liberty (1859), had collapsed under the weight of its own success and no longer serves, today, as a limiting principle on the legal enforcement of morality. Several readers raised forceful questions about the relationship between Mill’s original essay and the harm principle, as well as about the continuing vitality of Mill’s argument. In this article, I return to my original argument to draw an important distinction and clarify a central ...


Compulsory Sexuality, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2013

Compulsory Sexuality, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

Asexuality is an emerging identity category that challenges the common assumption that everyone is defined by some type of sexual attraction. Asexuals — those who report feeling no sexual attraction to others — constitute one percent of the population, according to one prominent study. In recent years, some individuals have begun to identify as asexual and to connect around their experiences interacting with a sexual society. Asexuality has also become a protected classification under the antidiscrimination law of one state and several localities, but legal scholarship has thus far neglected the subject. This Article introduces asexuality to the legal literature as a ...


Beccaria's On Crimes And Punishments: A Mirror On The History Of The Foundations Of Modern Criminal Law, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2013

Beccaria's On Crimes And Punishments: A Mirror On The History Of The Foundations Of Modern Criminal Law, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Beccaria’s treatise "On Crimes and Punishments" (1764) has become a placeholder for the classical school of thought in criminology, for deterrence-based public policy, for death penalty abolitionism, and for liberal ideals of legality and the rule of law. A source of inspiration for Bentham and Blackstone, an object of praise for Voltaire and the Philosophies, a target of pointed critiques by Kant and Hegel, the subject of a genealogy by Foucault, the object of derision by the Physiocrats, rehabilitated and appropriated by the Chicago School of law and economics – these ricochets and reflections on Beccaria’s treatise reveal multiple ...


On Waldron's Critique Of Raz On Human Rights, Joseph Raz Jan 2013

On Waldron's Critique Of Raz On Human Rights, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

Prof. Waldron has recently published a paper criticising the views of Rawls and Raz on human rights. It is pointed out that some supposed criticism are nothing more than observations on conditions that any account of rights must meet, and that Waldron objections to Raz are due to misunderstanding his thesis and its theoretical goal. The short comment tries to clarify that goal.


Becker And Foucault On Crime And Punishment – A Conversation With Gary Becker, François Ewald, And Bernard Harcourt: The Second Session, Gary S. Becker, Francois Ewald, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2013

Becker And Foucault On Crime And Punishment – A Conversation With Gary Becker, François Ewald, And Bernard Harcourt: The Second Session, Gary S. Becker, Francois Ewald, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In his 1979 lectures at the Collège de France, The Birth of Biopolitics, Michel Foucault discussed and analyzed Gary Becker’s economic theory of crime and punishment, originally published in The Journal of Political Economy in 1968 under the title “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach.” In this historic, second encounter at the University of Chicago, Gary Becker responds to Foucault’s lectures and possible critical readings of his writings on crime and punishment, in conversation with Professors François Ewald (who was, at the time in 1979, Foucault’s assistant at the Collège and one of Foucault’s closest interlocutors ...


On Normativity And Responsibility: Responses, Joseph Raz Jan 2013

On Normativity And Responsibility: Responses, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

Contains responses to comments by Chang, Hestein and Heuer on "From Normativity to Responsibility". The paper responds to various criticisms especially about methodology, the bearing of a secure area of competence on responsibility, the univocality of 'reasons', the relations of value and practical reasons, the scope of rational powers, the function of reasons to be rational, and most extensively about following reasons and the distinction between standard and non-standard reasons (where Heuer has pointed out some deficiencies in the discussion of the matter in the book).


Law And Ethics For Robot Soldiers, Kenneth Anderson, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2012

Law And Ethics For Robot Soldiers, Kenneth Anderson, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

Lethal autonomous machines will inevitably enter the future battlefield – but they will do so incrementally, one small step at a time. The combination of inevitable and incremental development raises not only complex strategic and operational questions but also profound legal and ethical ones. The inevitability of these technologies comes from both supply-side and demand-side factors. Advances in sensor and computational technologies will supply “smarter” machines that can be programmed to kill or destroy, while the increasing tempo of military operations and political pressures to protect one’s own personnel and civilian persons and property will demand continuing research, development, and ...


Death In Our Life, Joseph Raz Jan 2012

Death In Our Life, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

This is the text of the Annual Lecture of the Society for Applied Philosophy, delivered in Oxford on 22-5-12. I kept the talk style of the paper. It examines a central aspect of the relations between duration and quality of life by considering the moral right to voluntary euthanasia, and some aspects of the moral case for a legal right to euthanasia. Would widespread acceptance of a right to voluntary euthanasia lead to widespread changes in attitude to life and death? Many of its advocates deny that seeing it as a narrow right enabling people to avoid ending their life ...


"Becker On Ewald On Foucault On Becker": American Neoliberalism And Michel Foucault's 1979 Birth Of Biopolitics Lectures, Gary S. Becker, Francois Ewald, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2012

"Becker On Ewald On Foucault On Becker": American Neoliberalism And Michel Foucault's 1979 Birth Of Biopolitics Lectures, Gary S. Becker, Francois Ewald, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In a series of lectures delivered in 1979 at the Collège de France under the title The Birth of Biopolitics, Michel Foucault conducted a close reading of Gary Becker’s writings on human capital and on crime and punishment, within the context of an elaboration and critique of American neoliberalism. Foucault was assisted at the time, at the Collège de France, by François Ewald. Since then, there has been ongoing debate over Foucault’s views about neoliberalism. In this historic meeting at the University of Chicago between Professors Becker and Ewald, Professor Ewald presents a framework to understand Foucault’s ...