Forgotten Justice: Forms of Justice in the History of Legal and Political Theory

Forgotten Justice: Forms of Justice in the History of Legal and Political Theory

by Allan Beever
     
 

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Throughout much of the history of political philosophy, many of the great philosophers begin their work with an investigation of private law. Why is this? And why is the central focus of our modern concern, the state, examined so late in their works? This book suggests an answer to these and related questions. It reveals that there are two general ways of thinking

Overview

Throughout much of the history of political philosophy, many of the great philosophers begin their work with an investigation of private law. Why is this? And why is the central focus of our modern concern, the state, examined so late in their works? This book suggests an answer to these and related questions. It reveals that there are two general ways of thinking about the legal and the political: the modern which sees all through the lens of the state, and the traditional which begins with individuals and with the normative relations that exist between them building only slowly towards the community and the state.

In the modern view, private law is understood as a method for achieving certain social goals. As such, it can be overlooked by political philosophy. For the traditional view, on the other hand, private law is of central philosophical importance, because it is there that we observe a society's enunciation of its most fundamental political and legal values. Arguing that an understanding of the traditional view is essential to an understanding of private law and political life, this book highlights how the modern conception is seriously distorting in this regard.

A story unfolds throughout the chapters: the story of the growth and decline of the traditional view in political and legal thought. It challenges the modern fixation with the state, arguing for a return to the traditional view of legal and political community.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199675487
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/06/2013
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

Allan Beever is a Professor of Law at the University of South Australia. He has previously taught or held visiting positions at the Universities of Ottawa, Southampton, Durham, the Max-Planck-Institut fur auslandisches und internationales Privatrecht, Hamburg, and the University of Auckland. His research focuses on the theory of tort law and the law of obligations more widely, on political and legal theory, and on the history of philosophy.

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