february, 2018

19feb2:30 pm4:00 pmAndrei Marmor: 'What’s Left of General Jurisprudence?'


Event Details

We are pleased to welcome Andrei Marmor, who will present: ‘What’s Left of General Jurisprudence?: On law’s ontology and content”. This is an obligatory pre-read seminar. Registered attendees will receive the paper by email one week prior to the event.

Abstract: If you read articles in general jurisprudence from the last few years, you might come to wonder whether there is anything left of the subject matter worthy of serious philosophical inquiry. Authors often reveal a sense of despair even in their titles, suggesting the need to go beyond this or that traditional debate or, as my good friend David Enoch has recently done, express their personal disinterest in general jurisprudence over many pages. There is a widespread sentiment that the traditional debates about the nature of law have reached a dead end, not worthy of further investigation. I share none of this despair, and in this essay I want to show why. General jurisprudence is in no need of reinvention; that is the theme of this paper. There are at least three main debates about the nature of law, answering to different questions: one is a debate about the ontology of law, the other is about determinates of legal content, and the third is about law’s normative or moral, reason giving, aspects. There are many serious philosophical questions left open within each of these three topics, as well as about the relations between them. I will have very little to say in this paper, however, about law’s normativity; my focus will be the ontological debate and some aspects of a theory of legal content.

Andrei Marmor is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Philosophy and Law at Cornell Law School. His research interests span philosophy of law, moral, social and political philosophy, and philosophy of language. Marmor has published dozens of articles, six book monographs and a number of edited volumes. His most recent books include Social Conventions: from language to law (Princeton 2009), Philosophy of Law (Princeton 2011) and The Language of Law (Oxford 2014).

Prof. Marmor’s seminar is part of our Hart Seminar Series, which features a diverse group of leading scholars working at the intersection of law and philosophy. Hart Publishing contributes generous support to make the seminar series possible. The complete 2017-18 line-up is available here.


(Monday) 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm


University of Surrey School of Law

Frank Whittle Building (AB) Fifth Floor, Guildford, GU2 7XH

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