State of the Art: The Duty to Obey the Law

Legal Theory 10 (4):215–259 (2004)
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Philosophy, despite its typical attitude of detachment and abstraction, has for most of its long history been engaged with the practical and mundane-seeming question of whether there is a duty to obey the law. As Matthew Kramer has recently summarized: “For centuries, political and legal theorists have pondered whether each person is under a general obligation of obedience to the legal norms of the society wherein he or she lives. The obligation at issue in those theorists' discussions is usually taken to be prima-facie, comprehensively applicable, universally borne, and content-independent.” This essay is a commentary on the current state of discussion of this perennial philosophical topic.



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William A. Edmundson
Georgia State University

References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.

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