Practical Reason in Law and Morality

Paperback | May 28, 2011

byNeil Maccormick

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The concept of practical reason is central to contemporary thought on ethics and the philosophy of law - acting well means acting for good reasons. Explaining this requires several stages. How do reasons relate to actions at all, as incentives and in explanations? What are values, how do theyrelate to human nature, and how do they enter practical reasoning? How do the concepts of 'right and wrong' fit in, and in what way do they involve questions of mutual trust among human beings? How does our moral freedom - our freedom to form our own moral commitments - relate to ourresponsibilities to each other? How is this final question transposed into law and legal commitments?This book explores these questions, vital to understanding the nature of law and morality. It presents a clear account of practical reason, valuable to students of moral philosophy and jurisprudence at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. For more advanced scholars it also offers a reinterpretationof Kant's views on moral autonomy and Smith's on self-command, marrying Smith's 'moral sentiments' to Kant's 'categorical imperative' in a novel way.The book concludes and underpins the author's Law, State, and Practical Reason series. Taken together the books offer an overarching theory of the nature of law and legal reason, the role of the State, and the nature of moral reason and judgement.

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The concept of practical reason is central to contemporary thought on ethics and the philosophy of law - acting well means acting for good reasons. Explaining this requires several stages. How do reasons relate to actions at all, as incentives and in explanations? What are values, how do theyrelate to human nature, and how do they ente...

The late Neil MacCormick was Regius Professor of Public Law at Edinburgh University since 1972 where he served various terms as Dean of the Faculty of Law, Provost of the Faculty Group of Law and Social Sciences, and Vice-Principal (International). His previous posts were at Balliol College (Fellow and Tutor in Jurisprudence 1967-72) a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.56 inPublished:May 28, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199693463

ISBN - 13:9780199693467

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Incentives and Reasons2. Values and Human Nature3. Right and Wrong4. Questions of Trust5. Autonomy and Reason6. Obedience, Freedom and Engagement - or Utility?7. Society, Property, and Commerce8. On Justice9. Using Freedom Well10. Judging: Legal Cases and Moral Questions11. Practical Reason, Law, and State

Editorial Reviews

"...deserves a wider reading and could change the picture of legal positivism nowadays. It could be the case not only because of the valuable new insight into the old problems invoked in philosophical thoughts achieved by means of dialogue with the contemporary context of legal theory, butalso because of the deepness, reflective and proactively original insight presented in MacComick's last book. I strongly recommend this book to every lawyer." --Lidia Rodak, Silesian Journal of Legal Studies