7 found
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  1.  89
    Secret Law Revisited.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - 2019 - Ratio Juris 32 (4):473-486.
    What follows is an attempt to do some conceptual housekeeping around the notion of secret law as provided by Christopher Kutz (2013). First I consider low-salience (or merely obscure) law, suggesting that it fails to capture the legal and moral facts that are at stake in the case which Kutz used to motivate it. Then I outline a theoretical contrast between mere obscurity and secrecy, in contrast to the 'neutral' account of secrecy provided by Sissela Bok (1989). The upshot of (...)
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  2. Irrational Intentionality.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - manuscript
    There at least three ways of thinking about rationality: instrumental, substantive, and intentional. By far, the instrumental account is most influential. This essay proposes that intentional rationality can provide substantive accounts with room to breathe, and in a way that is facially distinct from instrumental accounts. I suggest that the intentionality of a judgment is made up of what it is about and the orientation through which it is judged, while irrationality is the subversion of a strict supporting connection between (...)
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  3.  47
    A Solidaristic Approach to the Existence and Persistence of Social Kinds.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - manuscript
    In this paper, I outline a theory of social kinds. A general theory of social kinds has to set out at least three conditions: existence conditions, persistence conditions, and identity conditions. For the sake of expediency, I focus on the existence and persistence conditions. The paper is organized just as life: first with existence, then persistence. I argue that anti-realism is more attractive than realism as an account of the existence conditions, despite the fact that realism has been under-appreciated. Then (...)
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  4.  49
    ‘Care, Simpliciter’ and the Varieties of Empathetic Concern. [REVIEW]Benjamin L. S. Nelson - manuscript
    Nicole Hassoun’s sufficientarian theory is based on a particular conception of caring, which she calls ‘care, simpliciter’. However, ‘care, simpliciter’ is not described in any detail. This essay tries to offer a critical revision of Hassoun’s concept of care in a way that would put the MGL theory on its strongest footing. To that end, I will contrast her view with a taxonomy of care that supplements the accounts of care provided by Stephen Darwall and Lori Gruen. I then put (...)
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  5.  38
    Access, Promulgation, and Propaganda.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - manuscript
    The very idea of promulgation has been given little to no treatment in the philosophy of law. In this exploratory essay, I introduce three possible theories of promulgation: the ‘no-theory theory’ (which treats promulgation as a matter of particular contexts), the ‘conveyance theory’ (which treats promulgation as a function of intellectual good faith interpreters), and ‘agonistic theory’ (which treats promulgation as indistinguishable from propaganda). I suggest that (at least) three kinds of models are consistent with the theories, and can potentially (...)
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  6.  41
    Finding Written Law.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - manuscript
    In this paper I argue that textualism is far less attractive as a theory of written law than some of its modern proponents think. For it is not usually sensible to expect the grammatical meaning of a provision to determine its appropriate legal meaning. Factors that are unrelated to grammar in the identification of law (e.g., legal theory, context) do too much of the work. **Draft -- acknowledgments welcome, but please do not cite.**.
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  7. Hobbes’s Third Jurisprudence: Legal Pragmatism and the Dualist Menace.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 33 (1).
    This paper explores the possibility that Hobbesian jurisprudence is best understood as a ‘third way’ in legal theory, irreducible to classical natural law or legal positivism. I sketch two potential ‘third theories’ of law -- legal pragmatism and legal dualism -- and argue that, when considered in its broadest sense, Leviathan is best viewed as an example of legal pragmatism. I consider whether this legal pragmatist interpretation can be sustained in the examination of Leviathan’s treatment of civil law, and argue (...)
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