Law as a Leap of Faith: Essays on Law in General

Paperback | January 23, 2014

byJohn Gardner

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How do laws resemble rules of games, moral rules, personal rules, rules found in religious teachings, school rules, and so on? Are laws rules at all? Are they all made by human beings? And if so how should we go about interpreting them? How are they organized into systems, and what does itmean for these systems to have "constitutions"? Should everyone want to live under a system of law? Is there a special kind of "legal justice"? Does it consist simply in applying the law of the system? And how does it relate to the ideal of "the rule of law"?These and other classic questions in the philosophy of law form the subject-matter of Law as a Leap of Faith. In this book John Gardner collects, revisits, and supplements fifteen years of celebrated writings on general questions about law and legal systems - writings in which he attempts, withoutloss of philosophical finesse or insight, to cut through some of the technicalities with which the subject has become encrusted in the late twentieth century. Taking his agenda broadly from H.L.A. Hart's The Concept of Law (1961), Gardner shows how the key ideas in that work live on, and how theyhave been and can still be improved in modest ways to meet important criticisms - in some cases by concession, in some cases by circumvention, and in some cases by restatement. In the process Gardner engages with key ideas of other modern giants of the subject including Kelsen, Holmes, Raz, andDworkin. Most importantly he presents the main elements of his own unique and refreshingly direct way of thinking about law, brought together in one place for the first time.

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How do laws resemble rules of games, moral rules, personal rules, rules found in religious teachings, school rules, and so on? Are laws rules at all? Are they all made by human beings? And if so how should we go about interpreting them? How are they organized into systems, and what does itmean for these systems to have "constitutions"?...

John Gardner is Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Oxford. He has also taught at Columbia, Princeton, Yale, the Australian National University, and the Universities of London, Texas, and Auckland. Called to the English Bar in 1988, he has been a Bencher of the Inner Temple since 2002.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.68 inPublished:January 23, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198713886

ISBN - 13:9780198713883

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Law as a Leap of Faith2. Legal Positivism: 5 1/2 Myths3. Some Types of Law4. Can There be a Written Constitution?5. How Law Claims, What Law Claims6. Nearly Natural Law7. The Legality of Law8. On the Supposed Formality of the Rule of Law9. Hart on Legality, Justice, and Morality10. The Virtue of Justice, the Character of Law11. Law in General

Editorial Reviews

"The result is a seminal body of exceptionally ground-clearing and lucid thinking on some fundamental arguments and assumptions of legal theory. The volume brings together Gardner's most celebrated essays in general jurisprudence, written over more than a decade, along with some unpublishedmaterial, particularly in the essay on the 'rule of law'" --Maris Kopcke Tinture, American Journal of Jurisprudence