Articles #philosophy of law


Is International Law Law, and Other Questions

Is International Law Law, and Other Questions

Positivism and nonpositivism differ on the role of moral considerations in determining the content of the law in force. All sensible views treat matters of brute social/political fact as partly determining law’s content but some, the nonpositivists, have it that moral judgment is inevitably required in interpreting legal materials to figure out what the law says. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Liam Murphy.

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On Permissible Killing

On Permissible Killing

'The standard view of rights is based on the sensible thought that rights correspond to duties. There are two paradigmatic sorts of duties, and thus two paradigmatic sorts of rights. The duties are the duty not to harm and the duty to take care of one’s special commitments, commitments inside special relationships, such as promisor to promisee, or parent to child.' 'Thomson did a great job articulating the standard model of rights, and she set the terms of the debate. My job has been largely to show that the debate has reached a kind of dead end, and that we need to go back and rethink the standard model that she articulated so well. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Alec Walen.

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Animal Cruelty and the Law in China

Animal Cruelty and the Law in China

I think there is a huge gap between the animals in Chinese people’s imagination and the animals in real life. In the zodiac portrayal, the 12 animals are living beings with feelings, personalities, intelligence and wisdom, but in the real life, the Chinese people have little positive things to say about the zodiac animals such as pigs, hens/roosters, mice/rats, monkeys, snakes and dogs, and most view them with distain and treat them as lifeless things. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Deborah Cao.

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A Certain Distance

Meir Dan-Cohen is a hard-core Harvard-tough philosopher of law. He has written the books Rights, Persons and Organisations: A legal Theory for Bureaucratic Society and Harmful Thoughts: Essays on Law, Self, and Morality. He is inspired by Kant’s Kingdom of Ends, and thinks that the ideas that we create create us. He thinks legal positivism is a bad thing and dignity better than autonomy. His armchair is definitely not burning. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Meir Dan-Cohen

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