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Law as a Moral Idea - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Law as a Moral Idea

Nigel Simmonds


This book argues that the institutions of law, and the structures of legal thought, are to be understood by reference to a moral ideal. The idea of law is an ideal of freedom, or independence from the power of others. The moral value and justificatory force of law are not contingent upon circumstance, but intrinsic to its character as law. Doctrinal legal arguments are shaped by rival conceptions of the conditions for realisation of the idea of law. In making these claims, the author rejects the viewpoint of much contemporary legal theory, and seeks to move jurisprudence closer to an older tra ... More

Keywords: legal thought, moral ideals, legal institutions, Hobbes, Kant, freedom, political ideals

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199552191
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199552191.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nigel Simmonds, author
Reader in Jurisprudence, University of Cambridge

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