December 08, 2016
A video of this wonderful lecture and the Q&A is now available here. The lecture itself begins about seven minutes in, after various introductions. (The Dewey Lecture this year was the day after the election, as it happened, which may explain a few comments and jokes.)
November 17, 2016
October 01, 2016
Once again, officials of the Alabama legal system show that they accept the rule of recognition of the Federal legal system...
August 28, 2016
A new paper forthcoming from OUP in Ethical Norms, Legal Norms: New Essays in Meteaethics and Jurisprudence (edited by Plunkett, Shapiro & Toh); the abstract:
In "Explaining Theoretical Disagreement" (2009), I defended an answer to Dworkin's argument that legal positivists can not adequately explain disagreements among judges about what the criteria of legal validity are. I here respond to a variety of critics of my answer, in particular, Kevin Toh. I argue that Toh misrepresents Hart's own views, and misunderstands the role of "presupposition" in both Hart and Kelsen. I argue that a correct reading of Hart is compatible with the error-theoretic interpretation of theoretical disagreement I defended in 2009.
August 16, 2016
This is the first new essay commissioned on the subject in more than fifty years (the last one was by Julius Stone, also a legal realist!). I had the privilege of co-authoring the new essay with a former student, the legal philosopher Michael Sevel (not a legal realist, but like Stone, at the University of Sydney!). Alas, you need to access it from an institution that subscribes to read this essay in full.
UPDATE: After I posted a similar announcement at my philosophy blog, an editor at EB wrote: "in fact anyone can read the entire article for free if he/she comes to it through a Google search. I believe we are fourth or fifth in the hit list returned by searching on 'philosophy of law'. Clicking on the link should provide access to the full article. (Obviously, searching on "philosophy of law Britannica" would make it even easier.) Likewise any other article in Britannica." Useful information, I didn't realize that!
May 09, 2016
May 08, 2016
At SSRN; the abstract:
This essay discusses a lengthy review by Professor Michael McConnell of the Stanford Law School in the Yale Law Journal of my 2013 book WHY TOLERATE RELIGION? (Princeton University Press). I identify two important objections that Prof. McConnell raises, but also identify eight different mistakes or misunderstandings that mar other parts of the review. I conclude by taking Prof. McConnell to task for several rhetorical cheap shots that, together with the other errors, suggests that his essay was more a partisan brief than a scholarly evaluation of the arguments. Most surprisingly, the fact that Professor McConnell, in his lengthy review, never actually responds to my book's central thesis--namely, that the inequality between religious and non-religious claims of conscience is not morally defensible--suggests that there may really be no serious argument on the other side.
April 07, 2016
President Obama is at the University of Chicago Law School today discussing the Supreme Court and the nomination of Judge Garland...
...which you can watch here. And if you'd like to know the truth about what's really going on with Supreme Court nomination battles, read this. (I'm not there, I'm at home working, since the faculty have been thrown out of their offices for the day!)
March 17, 2016
...with material perhaps of use to others with general interests in moral and political theory. "Moralities are a Sign-Language of the Affects" offers an interpretation and defense of Nietzsche's moral psychology, with special attention to the relationship between moral judgment and emotional response, and some of the empirical evidence in support of Nietzsche's kind of view. (This paper was published two years ago, but the PDF can now be made available on-line.) "The Death of God and the Death of Morality" offers an interpretation of the moral import of Nietzsche's claim that "God is dead," focusing in particular on its import for moral egalitarianism and the basis of equality problem (in virtue of what are all humans morally equal?).