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The Ideality of Law

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Chapter Summary

The author explores two different visions of the ideality of law. Each raises a very profound and problematical set of questions that are all too often excluded from jurisprudential discussion. He explores the implications of these questions for an understanding of law as a domain of practical reason. Nigel Simmonds points out a kind of radical subjectivity involved in the idea that the coherence of moral judgment is to be found in detached principle. The vision of law as embodying an archetype involves a different and more satisfying understanding of moral coherence, as being a matter of the collective intelligibility of discrete and divergent practices that belong to a shared form of life. Observers and participants in the practices of administering the law could choose not to explore the source of this coherence, but pay attention to the immediate implications of the practices in distributing the needs of material life.

Keywords: ideality of law; judgment; Nigel Simmonds



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