In Philosophy of Law, Andrei Marmor provides a comprehensive analysis of contemporary debates about the fundamental nature of law--an issue that has been at the heart of legal philosophy for centuries. What the law is seems to be a matter of fact, but this fact has normative significance: it tells people what they ought to do. Is the normative content of a law entirely determined by the facts that make it a law? Are there some normative moral constraints on what the law can be? And can we fully characterize and define the law without assuming a moral conception about what the law ought to be? Finally, is the philosophy of law about describing what law is, or prescribing what it should be?
Marmor argues that the myriad questions raised by the factual and normative features of law actually depend on the possibility of reduction--whether the legal domain can be explained in terms of something else, more foundational in nature. In addition to exploring the major issues in contemporary legal thought, Philosophy of Law provides a critical analysis of the people and ideas that have dominated the field in past centuries. It will be essential reading for anyone curious about the nature of law.
Andrei Marmor is professor of philosophy, Maurice Jones Jr. Professor of Law, and director of the Center for Law and Philosophy at the University of Southern California. His books include Social Conventions: From Language to Law (Princeton) and Law in the Age of Pluralism.
"This superb book, written by one of the world's foremost philosophers of law, is a highly welcome addition to the jurisprudential literature, one marked by its immense pedagogical value and scholarly excellence. It provides, in clear, accessible language, an informed, sympathetic treatment of all the main issues and theories within the discipline of contemporary analytic legal philosophy. Not only will it be of immense value to the student first encountering the field, it will equally engage the interest of the seasoned scholar and advanced student keen to know Marmor's own, distinctive take on these important matters. A remarkable achievement."--W. J. Waluchow, author of A Common Law Theory of Judicial Review
"This is an excellent book. The quality of argumentation is first-class, and readers will gain significant benefits from Marmor's careful, well-argued, and thorough analysis."--Brian Bix, University of Minnesota
Table of Contents:
Chapter One: A Pure Theory of Law? 12
Chapter Two: Social Rules at the Foundations of Law 35
Chapter Three: Authority, Conventions, and the Normativity of Law 60
Chapter Four: Is Law Determined by Morality? 84
Chapter Five: Is Legal Philosophy Normative? 109
Chapter Six: The Language of Law 136
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Andrei Marmor: