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Getting on with each other

Thomas Nagel, 22 September 1994

Ethics in the Public Domain: Essays in the Morality of Law and Politics 
by Joseph Raz.
Oxford, 374 pp., £40, June 1994, 0 19 825837 2
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... why not suppress what we don’t like? On this question the Oxford moral and legal philosopher Joseph Raz is a distinguished defender of a view that, in its logical structure and basic values, adheres to the tradition of John Stuart Mill. Raz believes that liberal institutions are justified because, for those ...


John Dunn, 2 October 1980

Natural Rights Theories 
by Richard Tuck.
Cambridge, 192 pp., £10.50, December 1979, 0 521 22512 4
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Natural Law and Natural Rights 
by John Finnis.
Oxford, 425 pp., £15, February 1980, 0 19 876110 4
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A Discourse on Property 
by James Tully.
Cambridge, 208 pp., £10.50, July 1980, 0 521 22830 1
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... seem more than slim. In British society at least, even ideologues of the right like Sir Keith Joseph, who argue vehemently for unfettered capitalist enterprise, give predominantly utilitarian (and almost wholly consequentialist) grounds for doing so. It takes an American today to think of unlimited appropriation as a human right. The works considered here ...

This beats me

Stephen Sedley: The Drafter’s Contract, 2 April 1998

Statutory Interpretation 
by Francis Bennion.
Butterworth, 1092 pp., £187, December 1997, 0 406 02126 0
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Law and Interpretation 
edited by Andrei Marmor.
Oxford, 463 pp., £18.99, October 1997, 0 19 826487 9
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Equality before the Law: Deaf People’s Access to Justice 
by Mary Brennan and Richard Brown.
Deaf Studies Research Unit, University of Durham, 189 pp., £17.50, October 1997, 0 9531779 0 4
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... it, the elementary proposition that rules acquire meaning only by being applied to facts. Joseph Raz considers how it is the interpretation of a work of literary or musical art which invests it with meaning and (dubiously) distinguishes that exercise from the way in which historiography interprets history. The essay has virtually nothing to say ...

Privatising the atmosphere

Jeremy Waldron, 4 November 1993

Beyond the New Right: Markets, Government and the Common Environment 
by John Gray.
Routledge, 195 pp., £19.99, June 1993, 0 415 09297 3
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... with. The underlying value is not just negative liberty, but autonomy – which Gray (following Joseph Raz) defines as the condition in which a person is (at least in part) the author of her own life. Autonomy in this sense may require not just the absence of coercion, but social conditions that support and nurture the capacities for choice that ...

The Central Questions

Thomas Nagel: H.L.A. Hart, 3 February 2005

A Life of H.L.A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream 
by Nicola Lacey.
Oxford, 422 pp., £25, September 2004, 0 19 927497 5
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... but Dworkin went on to develop an independent theory (most fully expounded in Law’s Empire), and Joseph Raz became the leading representative of the positivist position. There is no sign that the matter is about to be settled. It poses deep questions about the possibility of a purely descriptive account of an essentially evaluative activity, and more ...

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