Levinasian Ethics and the Concept of Law

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Abstract

Most people think they have an obligation to obey the law. They think the mere fact that a particular action is required by law gives them a reason to behave in that way. This popular view of law has provoked considerable academic discussion. The influential legal theorist, H. L. A. Hart, responds to the popular view by positing a systematic distinction between legal and moral obligation. He suggests that we have a distinctive obligation to obey the law, regardless of its moral character. This line of argument has not been without its critics. Perhaps the most prominent dissenter from Hart’s view on this point has been Joseph Raz, one of Hart’s distinguished former students. Raz denies that we have any generic obligation to obey the law; whatever obligations we have to obey specific legal rules depends upon their moral content
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEssays on Levinas and Law: A Mosaic
EditorsDesmond Manderson
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Chapter2
Pages39-54
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-230-23473-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-30043-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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    Crowe, J. (2009). Levinasian Ethics and the Concept of Law. In D. Manderson (Ed.), Essays on Levinas and Law: A Mosaic (pp. 39-54). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230234734_3