Deliberation, Responsibility, and Excusing Mistakes of Law
Alexander A. Guerrero
University of Pennsylvania - Department of Philosophy; University of Pennsylvania - Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
April 1, 2011
American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Law, 2011
NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 11-66
This short paper is a draft of soon-to-be-published comments on Gideon Yaffe’s paper “Excusing Mistakes of Law.” In this paper, I question Yaffe's strategy for defending the distinction drawn between excuses based on mistakes of law and excuses based on mistakes of fact. In particular, I question whether Yaffe's reliance on the notion of deliberation can do the work he suggests it can in providing a normative defense for the fact that "false beliefs about non-legal facts often excuse, but false beliefs about the law rarely excuse."
These comments were originally presented at the 2011 Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association upon the occasion of Yaffe’s paper being awarded the Berger Prize for being the “best article or chapter in the field of legal philosophy in the past two years.” These comments (along with comments by Mark Greenberg and a response by Gideon Yaffe) will be published in the APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: mistake of fact, mistake of law, deliberation, responsibility, criminal lawAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 18, 2011 ; Last revised: September 21, 2011
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