Ellen Frankel Paul et al. (eds.) Natural Law and Modern Moral Philosophy Cambridge University Press, 2001
2002 (English)In: Theoria, ISSN 1755-2567, Vol. 68, no 1, 74-81 p.Article, book review (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Natural law theory should be of interest to scholars in a number of distinct disciplines, such as law, philosophy, and political science. If the reader has any doubts on that score, a perusal of Natural Law and Modern Moral Philosophy, which is a collection of nine essays dealing with various aspects of natural law theory, will clarify the interdisciplinary relevance of natural law theory. In this review, I am going to concentrate on one of the nine essays in this fine book, namely Michael Moore’s Law as Justice, which critiques (what the author calls) the functionalist argument for law’s binding force, advanced by a number of natural lawyers through the years. Moore’s central claim is that the functionalist argument for law’s binding force (to be explained below), is too weak to guarantee the binding force of law assumed by natural lawyers. Instead, Moore suggests that the binding force of law may be established by a non-functionalist argument: law will hold our practical interest only if it obligates. While not exactly concise, Moore’s analysis is well worth the reader’s while. As for the central claims and arguments of Moore's essay, I agree that the functionalist argument is too weak to guarantee the binding force of law assumed by natural lawyers. I also find the non-functionalist argument adduced by Moore – that law will hold our practical interest only if it obligates – appealing. I do not, however, find it as compelling as Moore does. For while there are indeed reasons to conceive of law and morality as conceptually connected, as natural lawyers do, there are also reasons to conceive of them as conceptually distinct, as legal positivists do. Since Moore does not consider any of the latter arguments, I would like to conclude this review by pointing to a few of them.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2002. Vol. 68, no 1, 74-81 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-81439DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-2567.2002.tb00121.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-81439DiVA: diva2:109354