•  14
    On No-Rights and No Rights
    American Journal of Jurisprudence 64 (2): 213-223. 2019.
    As is well known to everyone familiar with the analytical table of legal relationships propounded by the American jurist Wesley Hohfeld, one of the eight positions in the table is that of the no-right. In most discussions of Hohfeld’s overall framework, no-rights have received rather little attention. Doubtless, one reason for the relative dearth of scrutiny is that Hohfeld devised a hyphenated neologism to designate no-rights. Each of the other positions in the Hohfeldian table is designated by…Read more
  •  20
    Taking a fresh look at a central controversy in criminal law theory, The Ethics of Capital Punishment presents a rationale for the death penalty grounded in a theory of the nature of evil and the nature of defilement. Original, unsettling, and deeply controversial, it will be an essential reference point for future debates on the subject.
  •  128
    This book is an uncompromising defense of legal positivism that insists on the separability of law and morality. After distinguishing among three facets of morality, Kramer explores a variety of ways in which law has been perceived as integrally connected to each of those facets. The book concludes with a detailed discussion of the obligation to obey the law--a discussion that highlights the strengths of legal positivism in the domain of political philosophy as much as in the domain of jurisprud…Read more
  •  12
    Consequentialist doctrines have often been criticized for their excessive demandingness, in that they require the thorough instrumentalization of each person’s life as a vehicle for the production of good consequences. In turn, the proponents of such doctrines have often objected to what they perceive as the irrationality of the demandingness of deontological duties. In this paper, I shall address objections of the latter kind in an effort to show that they are unfounded. My investigation of thi…Read more
  •  2
    In defense of Hart
    Legal Theory 19 (4): 370-402. 2013.
  •  18
    Replies to the Symposium Articles on Liberalism With Excellence
    American Journal of Jurisprudence 63 (1): 133-173. 2018.
  •  24
    Problems of Dirty Hands As a Species of Moral Conflicts
    The Monist 101 (2): 187-198. 2018.
    Every problem of dirty hands is a moral conflict in which a highly unpalatable course of conduct is chosen for the sake of fulfilling a stringent moral duty, and in which either the chosen course of conduct is evil or else it would have been evil in the absence of the exigent circumstances to which it is a response. To support this conception of problems of dirty hands, this paper endeavors to elucidate the nature of moral conflicts and the nature of evil.
  •  21
    On Political Morality and the Conditions for Warranted Self-Respect
    The Journal of Ethics 21 (4): 335-349. 2017.
    In my recent book Liberalism with Excellence, I have expounded at length a conception of warranted self-respect. That conception, which draws heavily though far from uncritically on the scattered passages about self-respect in the writings of John Rawls, is central to my defense of a variety of liberalism that combines and transfigures certain aspects of Rawlsianism and perfectionism. However, it is also central to the positions taken in some earlier books of mine on capital punishment and tortu…Read more
  •  1
    Liberalism with Excellence
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    During the past several decades, political philosophers have frequently clashed with one another over the question whether governments are morally required to remain neutral among reasonable conceptions of excellence and human flourishing. Whereas the numerous followers of John Rawls have maintained that a requirement of neutrality is indeed incumbent on every system of governance, other philosophers -- often designated as 'perfectionists' -- have argued against the existence of such a requireme…Read more
  • Justice as Constancy
    Law and Philosophy 16 (6): 561-580. 1997.
  •  2
    RÉSUMÉ: Les philosophes, au cours des cinquante dernières années, se sont efforcés de démontrer qu’un professeur peut, d’une manière cohérente et exacte, annoncer à ses étudiants qu’un examen surprise aura lieu lors d’une journée non spécifiée d’une période donnée, le problème étant qu’une telle annonce peut sembler s’annuler ellemême lorsqu’elle est soumise à une induction régressive. Deux grandes approches, l’une épistémique et l’autre logique, one été développées à ce propos. Le présent artic…Read more
  •  24
  • Legal Theory, Political Theory, and Deconstruction: Against Rhadamanthus
    with Matthew H. Kramer Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy
    . 1991.
  • Essere liberi senza avere scelta
    Filosofia Oggi 8 (1): 51. 2003.
  • It's all foreign to Clinton
    In Jonathan Westphal & Carl Avren Levenson (eds.), Time, Hackett Pub. Co.. pp. 142--16. 1993.
  •  163
    Liberty and domination
    In Cécile Laborde & John W. Maynor (eds.), Republicanism and Political Theory, Blackwell. pp. 31--57. 2003.
  •  2
    Our longest lie
    Philosophy Today 37 (1): 89-109. 1993.
  •  38
    RÉSUMÉ: Les philosophes, au cours des cinquante dernières années, se sont efforcés de démontrer qu’un professeur peut, d’une manière cohérente et exacte, annoncer à ses étudiants qu’un examen surprise aura lieu lors d’une journée non spécifiée d’une période donnée, le problème étant qu’une telle annonce peut sembler s’annuler ellemême lorsqu’elle est soumise à une induction régressive. Deux grandes approches, l’une épistémique et l’autre logique, one été développées à ce propos. Le présent artic…Read more
  •  92
    During the past few decades, Quentin Skinner has been one of the most prominent critics of the ideas about negative liberty that have developed out of the writings of Isaiah Berlin. Among Skinner?s principal charges against the contemporary doctrine of negative liberty is the claim that the proponents of that doctrine have overlooked the putative fact that people can be made unfree to refrain from undertaking particular actions. In connection with this matter, Skinner contrasts the present-day t…Read more
  •  29
    Supervenience As an Ethical Phenomenon
    American Journal of Jurisprudence 50 (1): 173-224. 2005.
    All or virtually all moral philosophers agree that moral properties supervene on natural properties; that is, two actions or situations cannot differ in their moral properties unless there are differences in their natural properties that account for the moral difference between them. Virtually all moral philosophers also believe that supervenience is a conceptual or logical feature of moral discourse and judgments. While accepting that supervenience is a fundamental feature of morality, this ess…Read more
  •  1
    Rights, Wrongs and Responsibilities (edited book)
    Palgrave. 2001.
    In this wide-ranging investigation of leading issues in contemporary legal and political philosophy, distinguished philosophers and legal theorists tackle issues such as the rights of animals, the role of public-policy considerations in legal reasoning, the appropriateness of compensation as a means of rectifying mishaps and misdeeds, the extent of individuals' responsibility for the consequences of their choices, and the culpability of failed attempts to commit crimes.
  •  24
    For the Record: A Final Reply to N.E. Simmonds
    American Journal of Jurisprudence 56 (1): 115-133. 2011.
  •  24
    Critical Legal Theory and the Challenge of Feminism provides both a thorough overview and a refinement of the ideas that underlie critical legal theory. Arguing with the rigor of analytic philosophy and the alertness to paradoxes characteristic of deconstructive philosophy, Matthew Kramer begins by exploring the tangled relations between metaphysics and politics. He then attempts to transform the discourses of the critical legal studies movement by laying out a framework of five general themes: …Read more
  •  35
    On the counterfactual dimension of negative liberty
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (1): 63-92. 2003.
    This article explores some implications of the counterfactual aspect of freedom and unfreedom. Because actions can be unprevented even if they are not undertaken, and conversely because actions can be prevented even if they are not attempted and are thus not overtly thwarted, any adequate account of negative liberty must ponder numerous counterfactual chains of events. Each person's freedom or unfreedom is affected not only by what others in fact do, but also by what they are disposed to do. The…Read more
  •  135
    When Is There Not One Right Answer?
    American Journal of Jurisprudence 53 (1): 49-68. 2008.
  •  15
    Each of these two volumes grew out of what was originially intended to be a single chapter in a larger study of seventeenth-century liberalism. Although there is a strong degree of stylistic and methodological continuity between the two, neither book presupposes any familiarity with the other. I will therefore consider them separately.
  •  118
    This essay argues against the commonly held view that "ought" implies "can" in the domain of morality. More specifically, I contest the notion that nobody should ever be held morally responsible for failing to avoid the infliction of any harm that he or she has not been able to avoid through all reasonably feasible precautions in the carrying out of some worthwhile activity. The article explicates the concept of a moral right in order to show why violations of moral rights can occur even when no…Read more