Selected essays originally published as a book in Danish in 1970. Three had been published before then in English, but the others are new. All deal with concepts common to law and morality. "They function in the same way in legal and moral discourse: guilt determines responsibility, and responsibility punishment. But the conditions under which a person incurs guilt differ according to whether the guilt is legal or moral, as do also the manner in which the responsibility takes effect and the penal reaction itself." Cf. Preface, page v.
Philosophical aspects of law and jurisprudence are investigated from various points of view. This collection represents the analytic approach to legal philosophy. However, this approach is not extreme in the sense that it is limited exclusively to linguistic matters. The concept of norm as a directive of conduct is the central category analyzed in particular essays. The structure of directives as well as their semantic and pragmatic roles are studied. Pragmatic functions of directives are linked with their functioning as speech acts. Moreover, existence and validity of norms are analyzed. The author also touches on general methodological problems of legal theory and philosophy, particularly their relations to social sciences. The collection covers material interesting for philosophers, lawyers and social scientists.
In this age of collections that is ours, many volumes of collections are published. They contain contributions of several well-known authors, and their aim is to present a selective overview of a relevant field of study. This book has the same purpose. Its aim is to introduce students, scholars and all those interested in current problems of legal theory and legal philosophy to the work of the leading scholars in this field. The large number of publications, both books and articles, that have been produced over recent decades makes it quite difficult, however, for those who are making their first steps in this domain to find firm guidelines. The book is new in its genre because of its method. The choice was made not to reprint an example of contributors' earlier basic articles or a part of one of their books. This would only give a partial view of the rich texture of their work. Rather, the authors were asked to make an original synthesis of their own contributions to the field of legal theory and legal philosophy. Brought together in this volume, they constitute a truly author-ised view of their work. This book is also new in that each essay is complemented with bibliographical information in order to encourage further research on the author's self-selected work. This will help the reader rapidly to become familiar with the whole of the published work of the contributors.
A focus on reasons for action and practical reason is the perspective chosen by many contemporary legal philosophers for the analysis of some central questions of their discipline. This book offers a critical evaluation of that approach, by carefully examining the empirical, logical and normative problems hidden behind the concepts of `reason for action' and `practical reasoning'. Unlike most other works in this field, it is a meta-theoretical study which analyses and compares how different theories use the notion of reason in their reconstruction of problems concerning issues such as normativity, the acceptance of norms, or the justification of judicial decisions. This book is directed primarily to scholars specializing in legal theory and concerned with the contribution practical philosophy can make to it, but it also contains important arguments and insights for all those interested in the controversy between legal positivists and their critics, in the theory of human action or in reason-based practical theories in general.
It gives me great pleasure to offer this foreword to the present work of my admired friend and respected colleague Ota Weinberger. Apart from the essays of his which were published in our joint work An Institutional Theory of Law: New Approaches to Legal Positivism in 1986, relatively little of Wein berger's work is available in English. This is the more to be regretted, since his is work of particular interest to jurists of the English-speaking world both in view of its origins and in respect of its content As to its origins, Weinberger war reared as a student of the Pure Theory of Law, a theory which in its Kelsenian form has aroused very great interest and has had considerable influence among anglophoone scholars -perhaps even more than in the Germanic countries. Less well known is the fact that the Pure Theory itself divided into two schools, that of Vienna and that of Brno. It was in the Brno school of Frantisek Weyr that Weinberger's legal theory found its early formation, and perhaps from that early influence one can trace his continuing insistence on the dual character of legal norms -both as genuinely normative and yet at the same time having real social existence.
This volume offers snapshots of how rights are debated and employed in public discourse to reshape legal and political relations at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It explores how rights are used to challenge the state of affairs by individuals and groups who seek justice, and the strategies devised to defy the existing rights by those who wish to recast the social and political order. This volume discusses rights, firstly, in relation to actual events and issues faced by policy-makers, courts, international agencies, or ordinary people. These range from the demands of minority groups living in the West to freely practice their culture and/or religion, to the threat of terrorism, the regulation of asylum rights, the investor's rights to disclosure and the rights of artists to freedom of expression. Secondly, rights discourse is examined in relation to attempts to redefine the form and content of rights, for example, by banning the right to wear religious symbols in public institutions or detaining terrorism suspects without trial. Thirdly, rights discourse is explored in connection with the attempts to develop new notions of rights, such as 'human security', which can more effectively respond to the challenges of late modern societies. Finally, the statuses of rights in sociological theory and socio-legal research are briefly discussed and analysed.