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Article

Access_open Lawyers Doing Philosophy

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2014
Keywords human agency, legal doctrine, command theory of law, Fuller, Arendt
Authors Pauline Westerman
AbstractAuthor's information

    Rundle criticizes the command conception of law by means of Fuller’s and Arendt’s concept of human agency. However, neither of these two authors derive law from human agency, as Rundle seems to think. Instead they stress that personhood can only be attributed to physical human beings on the basis of law. Moreover, their theories cannot be understood as answers to Rundle’s question – whatever that may be – but as answers to their own questions and concerns. In the case of Arendt and Fuller, these concerns were so different that the enterprise to reconcile them seems futile. Rundle’s approach can be understood as the attempt to deal with philosophy as if it were legal doctrine.


Pauline Westerman
Pauline Westerman is Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University of Groningen; p.c.westerman@rug.nl
Article

Access_open Reciprocity: a fragile equilibrium

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2014
Keywords reciprocity, exchange theory, natural law theory, dyadic relations, corrective justice
Authors Prof. dr. Pauline Westerman PhD
AbstractAuthor's information

    Reciprocity may serve to explain or to justify law. In its latter capacity, which is the topic of this article, reciprocity is commonly turned into a highly idealized notion, as either a balance between two free and equal parties or as the possibility of communication tout court. Both ideals lack empirical reference. If sociological and anthropological literature on forms of exchange is taken into account, it should be acknowledged that reciprocal relations are easy to destabilize. The dynamics of exchange invites exclusion and inequality. For this reason reciprocity should not be presupposed as the normative underpinning of law; instead, law should be presupposed in order to turn reciprocity into a desirable ideal.


Prof. dr. Pauline Westerman PhD
Pauline Westerman is Professor in Philosophy of Law at the University of Groningen and member of staff at the Academy for Legislation in the Hague. She is editor of The Theory and Practice of Legislation, a journal published by Hart, Oxford. She writes mainly on legal methodology and legislation, especially on alternative forms of legislation. For more information as well as publications, see her personal website: <www.paulinewesterman.nl>.
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