Law and Philosophy

http://link.springer.com/journal/10982

List of Papers (Total 35)

Privacy and Autonomy: On Some Misconceptions Concerning the Political Dimensions of Privacy

One of the most influential views in privacy scholarship is that privacy protects individual autonomy. On the early liberal view, the exercise of autonomy requires detachment from social and political life and privacy facilitates it. This view of privacy still informs current legal and political practice. As this view of privacy presupposes a tension between privacy and society, it ...

Three Kinds of Intention in Lawmaking

The nature of legislative intent remains a subject of vigorous debate. Its many participants perceive the intent in different ways. In this paper, I identify the reason for such diverse perceptions: three intentions are involved in lawmaking, not one. The three intentions correspond to the three aspects of a speech act: locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary. The dominant ...

Public Reason and Religion: The Theo-Ethical Equilibrium Argument for Restraint

Most public reason theorists believe that citizens are under a ‘duty of restraint’. Citizens must refrain from supporting laws for which they have only non-public reasons, such as religious reasons. The theo-ethical equilibrium argument purports to show that theists should accept this duty, on the basis of their religious convictions. Theists’ beliefs about God’s nature should lead ...

Who Cares What You Think? Criminal Culpability and the Irrelevance of Unmanifested Mental States

The criminal law declines to punish merely for bad attitudes that are not properly manifested in action. One might try to explain this on practical grounds, but these attempts do not justify the law’s commitment to never punishing unmanifested mental states in worlds relevantly similar to ours. Instead, a principled explanation is needed. A more promising explanation thus is that ...

What is Hate Speech? Part 2: Family Resemblances

The issue of hate speech has received significant attention from legal scholars and philosophers alike. But the vast majority of this attention has been focused on presenting and critically evaluating arguments for and against hate speech bans as opposed to the prior task of conceptually analysing the term ‘hate speech’ itself. This two-part article aims to put right that ...

What is hate speech? Part 1: The Myth of Hate

The issue of hate speech has received significant attention from legal scholars and philosophers alike. But the vast majority of this attention has been focused on presenting and critically evaluating arguments for and against hate speech bans as opposed to the prior task of conceptually analysing the term ‘hate speech’ itself. This two-part article aims to put right that ...

Rethinking the Wrongness Constraint on Criminalisation

Orthodox thought holds that criminalisation should be subject to a wrongness constraint: that is, that conduct may be criminalised only if it is wrongful. This article argues that this principle is false, at least as it is usually understood. On the one hand, the wrongness constraint seems to rest on solid foundations. To criminalise conduct is to facilitate its condemnation and ...

The Service Conception: Just One Simple Question

It is crystal clear that the Service Conception includes at least three conditions, what I shall call: the ‘normal justification condition’, the ‘independence condition’ and the ‘dependence condition’. The overarching rationale of these conditions is that they ensure that authority is only justified when it provides the best means for the subject to conform to the reasons for ...

Innocence Lost: A Problem for Punishment as Duty

Constrained instrumentalist theories of punishment – those that seek to justify punishment by its good effects, but limit its scope – are an attractive alternative to pure retributivism or utilitarianism. One way in which we may be able to limit the scope of instrumental punishment is by justifying punishment through the concept of duty. This strategy is most clearly pursued in ...

Punishment as Moral Fortification

The proposal that the criminal justice system should focus on rehabilitation – rather than retribution, deterrence, or expressive denunciation – is among the least popular ideas in legal philosophy. Foremost among rehabilitation’s alleged weaknesses is that it views criminals as blameless patients to be treated, rather than culpable moral agents to be held accountable. This article ...

When the Risk of Harm Harms

This essay answers two questions that continue to drive debate in moral and legal philosophy; namely, ‘Is a risk of harm a wrong?’ and ‘Is a risk of harm a harm?’. The essay’s central claim is that to risk harm can be both to wrong and to harm. This stands in contrast to the respective positions of Heidi Hurd and Stephen Perry, whose views represent prominent extremes in this ...

A Legal Conventionalist Approach to Pollution

There are no moral entitlements with respect to pollution prior to legal conventions that establish them, or so I will argue. While some moral entitlements precede legal conventions, pollution is part of a category of harms against interests that stands apart in this regard. More specifically, pollution is a problematic type of harm that creates liability only under certain ...

Is Coercion a Ground of Distributive Justice?

In his rich and stimulating book, Blake argues (among other things) that comprehensive coercion triggers egalitarian obligations of distributive justice. I argue that (1) coercion is not a necessary condition for egalitarian justice to apply; (2) Blake’s use of a moralised conception of coercion is a mistake; (3) coercion is a redundant member of any set of sufficient conditions ...

Religion in the Law: The Disaggregation Approach

Should religion be singled out in the law? This Article evaluates two influential theories of freedom of religion in political theory, before introducing an alternative one. The first approach, the Substitution approach, argues that freedom of religion can be adequately expressed by a substitute category: typically, freedom of conscience. The second, the Proxy approach, argues that ...

Time and Retribution

Retributivists believe that punishment can be deserved, and that deserved punishment is intrinsically good or important. They also believe that certain crimes deserve certain quantities of punishment. On the plausible assumption that the overall amount of any given punishment is a function of its severity and duration, we might think that retributivists (qua retributivists) would ...

Sailing Alone: Teenage Autonomy and Regimes of Childhood

Should society intervene to prevent the risky behavior of precocious teenagers even if it would be impermissible to intervene with adults who engage in the same risky behavior? The problem is well illustrated by the legal case of the 13-year-old Dutch girl Laura Dekker, who set out in 2009 to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone, succeeding in January ...

Crimes Against Humanity and the Limits of International Criminal Law

Crimes against humanity are supposed to have a collective dimension with respect both to their victims and their perpetrators. According to the orthodox view, these crimes can be committed by individuals against individuals, but only in the context of a widespread or systematic attack against the group to which the victims belong. In this paper I offer a new conception of crimes ...

State Legitimacy and Self-defence

In this paper I outline a theory of legitimacy that grounds the state’s right to rule on a natural duty not to harm others. I argue that by refusing to enter the state, anarchists expose those living next to them to the dangers of the state of nature, thereby posing an unjust threat. Since we have a duty not to pose unjust threats to others, anarchists have a duty to leave the ...