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Law and Philosophy$
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Michael Freeman and Ross Harrison

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199237159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237159.001.0001

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The Moral is: States Make Laws

The Moral is: States Make Laws

Chapter:
(p.159) 9 The Moral is: States Make Laws
Source:
Law and Philosophy
Author(s):

Ross Harrison

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237159.003.0009

This chapter argues that we may gain some insight into the nature of law by appreciating that it is a purposive activity, and that it is states that in the first instance have these purposes. By asking what the purposes of states are (why have states; could states be made better?), we get more grip on what the purpose of law is. It then addresses the following question: Why have states? It argues that there is a moral reason for there being law-making states because it assists one in achieving moral goals. Starting with one's individual moral, rather than self-interested, reasons, the state is used as an indirect means of achieving them.

Keywords:   states, law, moral goals

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