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Reputation and Defamation$
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Lawrence McNamara

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231454.001.0001

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Reputation and Community: The Centrality of Moral Judgment

Reputation and Community: The Centrality of Moral Judgment

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Reputation and Community: The Centrality of Moral Judgment
Source:
Reputation and Defamation
Author(s):

Lawrence McNamara

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231454.003.0002

Without a clear sense of what reputation is, it will be difficult to make a judgment about the manner and extent of its protection under the law. To that end, this chapter commences the inquiry with the aim of theorizing reputation. That is, it sets out to articulate the nature of the interest that the law seeks to protect. The selection of reputation, rather than defamation, as the analytical category is explained. A definition of reputation proposed that identifies community as the form of association upon which reputation rests, and it is argued that moral judgment is the central feature of reputation. This provides the best basis on which both reputation and defamation can be understood, and lays the foundations for the later resolution of some of the legal choices that the courts must make with respect to the scope and limits of protection for reputation.

Keywords:   real reputation, legal reputation, defamation, communitarianism, liberalism, gemeinschaft, gesellschaft

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