A Government of Laws
This introductory chapter develops the book's central problem—the problem of legal authority—and outlines the book's arguments in response to it. It introduces the apparent tension between morality and law by juxtaposing John Adams's ideal of “a government of laws and not of men” against Aristotle's prescription that the “best man” rather than the “best law” should rule. As Aristotle recognized, laws inevitably have exceptions—situations in which the morally best thing to do is something other than what the law commands. Why should the “best men” not feel free to ignore the law in such circumstances? The chapter foreshadows the book's dispute-resolution framework for answering that question and situates the problem of legal authority in the context of several seemingly diverse fields of study: analytic legal philosophy, democratic political theory, theory of adjudication, and public-law theory.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.