Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (650,000)
UTSC (30,000)
Lecture 2

POLB30H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: The Concept Of Law, Legal Positivism, Thomism


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLB30H3
Professor
Margaret Kohn
Lecture
2

This preview shows page 1. to view the full 4 pages of the document.
POLB30
LECTURE 2
LEGAL POSITIVISM
WHY DO WE OBEY THE LAW?
b/c it is right
- natural law/ normative approach
b/c my culture/tradition tells me to, habit;
- constructivist approach
b/c it was decided according to a legitimate process (prof’s ex about parking her car)
- intuitionalist approach
b/c it is law
- legal positivism
FOUR CATEGORIES OF LAW (Aquinas)
eternal law: divine reason known only to God; God’s plan for the universe
natural law: the part of eternal law we can know through reason (example: do not kill the
innocent)
divine law : revealed in scriptures, through prophecy (example: don’t eat pig)
human law (positive law): this enacted for the common good (example: traffic laws)
WHAT IS NATURAL LAW?
Universal
Higher (running on a red light to save a live example)
Discoverable by reason (do not have to rely on authority)
MODERN APPROACHES TO LAW: FROM NATURAL LAW TO POSTIVISM
Hobbes (17th century)
There is no such thing as natural law: people disagree about morality
Natural science method: life in the state of nature, life is nasty, brutish and short
First law of nature: seek peace
Second law of nature: Create a sovereign(government or a set of laws) and obey him
Introduces the concept of consent
IS OBJECTIVITY POSSIBLE IN MORALS?
Kant’s categorical imperative: act is such a way that the rule governing your action could be a
universal law ( you actually can’t lie without contradicting what it means to be human)
Critiques of Kant: context and judgment are important and these depend on character,
experience, etc. (ex: what if there is a known murder that is armed, comes to your door and asks
for Jane Doe?)
Critiques: more judgments require reason plus contextual knowledge
New “law and morality” approach: Dworkin
THE REVIVAL OF NATURAL LAW THEORY
Impact of the Nuremburg war crimes trials: “crimes against humanity (Nazi)
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
Neo-Kantianism: derives law from the principles of human dignity (autonomy and equality)
- emphasizes individual choice and individual freedom
Neo Thomism refers to St. Thomas Aquinas approach
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version