Law and Objectivity

Brian Leiter

in The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270972
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

 Law and Objectivity

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This article discusses issues about the objectivity of law and some appropriate philosophical tools. There are two main kinds of philosophical questions about objectivity: metaphysical and epistemological. Metaphysical objectivity concerns the extent to which the existence and character of some class of entities depends on the state of mind of a person. Epistemological objectivity concerns the extent to which we are capable of achieving knowledge about those things that are metaphysically objective. This article considers the prospects for the modest objectivity about law. In law, issues about objectivity arise along a variety of dimensions. The scope of these claims about the objectivity of law may vary. It concerns the objectivity of morality that may be implicated in the way we think about the objectivity of law. Some philosophers recently have disputed whether the traditional ways of conceptualizing objectivity are adequate.

Keywords: objectivity; metaphysical; epistemological; morality; traditional ways

Article.  9887 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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