•  54
    There at least three ways of thinking about rationality: instrumental, substantive, and intentional. By far, the instrumental account is most influential. This essay proposes that intentional rationality can provide substantive accounts with room to breathe, and in a way that is facially distinct from instrumental accounts. I suggest that the intentionality of a judgment is made up of what it is about and the orientation through which it is judged, while irrationality is the subversion of a stri…Read more
  •  21
    In this paper I argue that textualism is far less attractive as a theory of written law than some of its modern proponents think. For it is not usually sensible to expect the grammatical meaning of a provision to determine its appropriate legal meaning. Factors that are unrelated to grammar in the identification of law (e.g., legal theory, context) do too much of the work.
  •  155
    Hobbes’s third jurisprudence: legal pragmatism and the dualist menace
    Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 33 (1). 2020.
    This paper explores the possibility that Hobbesian jurisprudence is best understood as a ‘third way’ in legal theory, irreducible to classical natural law or legal positivism. I sketch two potential ‘third theories’ of law -- legal pragmatism and legal dualism -- and argue that, when considered in its broadest sense, Leviathan is best viewed as an example of legal pragmatism. I consider whether this legal pragmatist interpretation can be sustained in the examination of Leviathan’s treatment of c…Read more
  •  62
    Secret Law Revisited
    Ratio Juris 32 (4): 473-486. 2019.
    What follows is an attempt to do some conceptual housekeeping around the notion of secret law as provided by Christopher Kutz (2013). First I consider low-salience (or merely obscure) law, suggesting that it fails to capture the legal and moral facts that are at stake in the case which Kutz used to motivate it. Then I outline a theoretical contrast between mere obscurity and secrecy, in contrast to the 'neutral' account of secrecy provided by Sissela Bok (1989). The upshot of the two sections is…Read more
  •  5
    The Depiction of Unwritten Law
    Dissertation, University of Waterloo. 2016.
    Even though tacit legal norms are deeply important to our past, present, and future, the very idea of unwritten law has been difficult to pin down, and problematic in a range of ways. Existing discussions of the phenomenon fall short of adequacy on one of several fronts: either they have focused on describing the normative features of one kind of unwritten law, or completely conflated the study of unwritten law with natural law, or else offered examinations of unwritten social rules, focussing o…Read more
  •  25
    Making minds like ours
    The Philosophers' Magazine 64 41-45. 2014.