Legislative Intent and Other Essays on Politics, Law, and Morality

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In the last years of his life, Gerald C. MacCallum, Jr., defied illness to continue his work on the philosophy of law.  This book is a monument to MacCallum’s effort, containing fourteen of his essays, five of them published here for the first time.  Two of those previously published are widely admired and reprinted: “Legislative Intent,” certainly one of the best papers ever published on its topic, and “Negative and Positive Freedom,” which offered a new way of looking at a distinction that had been canonical for the last two centuries. 
    To complete MacCallum’s unfinished pieces, Marcus G. Singer and Rex Martin painstakingly consulted MacCallum’s notes for planned revisions.  MacCallum discusses legal reasoning, the application of rules, the interpretation of statutes and constitutional provisions, and the relation of these matters to morality and justice.  In the last decade of his working life, he became greatly concerned with the interrelated themes of integrity, autonomy, conscience, and violence.  He wished to relate competition to morality and justice to adversarial systems of law. These themes are woven together in Legislative Intent  and constitute the main subject of some of the essays.
    MacCallum was engaged in a constant search for truth and understanding, and in his life and work lived up to Emerson’s vision of the “American Scholar” as a “human being thinking.”  These essays are informed by the author’s deep curiosity, penetrating intelligence, wide knowledge, and outstanding character.  They will be treasured wherever these characteristics and true philosophy are treasured.

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Editorial Reviews

MacCallum (1925-87; philosophy, U. of Wisconsin) spent his last years working out a philosophy of law. Here are 14 essays from that effort, five published for the first time. He discusses legal reasoning, the application of rules, the interpretation of statutes and constitutional provisions, and the relations of these matters to morality and justice. The title essay and "Negative and Positive Freedom" are widely considered to be pivotal works on the subject. The arguments are complex but presented in plain English accessible to nonspecialists. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299138608
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald C. MacCallum, Jr., (1925-1987) was professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He made great contributions to his profession by serving on many boards and committees, including the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Future and Status of the Profession, and through his many public lectures to  universities and professional organizations in the United States and abroad.  In late 1986, just before his death, he completed his book, Political Philosophy. Marcus G. Singer, professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the author of Generalization in Ethics: An Essay in the Logic of Ethics, with the Rudiments of a System of Moral Philosophy and the editor of several volumes of philosophical writings. Rex Martin, professor of philosophy at the University of Kansas, is the author of A System of Rights and Historical Explanation: Re-enactment and Practical Inference.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contents
1 Legislative Intent 1966 3
2 Censorship in the Arts 1964 36
3 On Applying Rules 1966 64
4 Berlin on the Compatibility of Values, ideals, and "Ends" 1967 75
5 Negative and Positive Freedom 1967 85
6 Some Truths and Untruths about Civil Disobedience 1970 102
7 Reform, Violence, and Personal Integrity 1971 127
8 Law, Conscience, and Integrity 1973 139
9 The Extent to Which Legislators Should Serve Their Consciences or Their Constituents 1981 153
10 Dworkin on Judicial Discretion 1963 168
11 Violence and Appeals to Conscience 1974 178
12 Competition and Moral Philosophy 1975 203
13 Justice and Adversary Proceedings 1977 224
14 What Is Wrong with Violence? 1970 235
Bibliography of the Writings of Gerald C. MacCallum, Jr. 259
Index 265
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