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Legal Philosophy

William & Mary Law School

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Full-Text Articles in Law

On Hart's Category Mistake, Michael S. Green Sep 2013

On Hart's Category Mistake, Michael S. Green

Faculty Publications

This essay concerns Scott Shapiro’s criticism that H.L.A. Hart’s theory of law suffers from a “category mistake.” Although other philosophers of law have summarily dismissed Shapiro’s criticism, I argue that it identifies an important requirement for an adequate theory of law. Such a theory must explain why legal officials justify their actions by reference to abstract propositional entities, instead of pointing to the existence of social practices. A virtue of Shapiro’s planning theory of law is that it can explain this phenomenon. Despite these sympathies, however, I end with the suggestion that Shapiro’s criticism of Hart, as it stands, is …


Understanding Kaye Scholer: The Autonomous Citizen, The Managed Subject And The Role Of The Lawyer, Nancy Amoury Combs Jan 1994

Understanding Kaye Scholer: The Autonomous Citizen, The Managed Subject And The Role Of The Lawyer, Nancy Amoury Combs

Faculty Publications

The Office of Thrift Supervision's (OTS) unprecedented enforcement action against Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays and Handler (Kaye Scholer) prompted howls of protest from the legal community. OTS, it was claimed, was using its excessive power to redefine the role of the lawyer. This Comment confirms that OTS sought to impose duties on Kaye Scholer that conflict with professional ethics rules. The Comment then goes on to suggest that the conflict over professional responsibility in the Kaye Scholer case reflects, more fundamentally, a conflict over the role of the citizen, and the citizen's relationship with the state. Our adversarial system of …