"What is 'Morality' Anyway?"
Michael J. Perry
Emory University School of Law; University of San Diego - School of Law and Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
Published as the Fall 1999 Villanova University School of Law Giannella Lecture by the Villanova Law Review.
Many law professors (Posner, Dworkin, Finnis, Nussbaum, etc.) spend a lot of time these days talking about "morality." The penetration of legal discourse by moral discourse is not surprising. Moral controversy, after all, is often at the center of legal controversy. Nonetheless, it is often obscure what we citizens of the legal academy, and others, are talking about--and often clear that we are not all talking about the same thing--when we talk (argue) about "morality." Using Richard Posner's conception of "morality" in his book, The Problematics of Moral and Legal Theory (1999), as a point of departure, Professor Perry addresses the question that is the title of his essay "What is 'Morality' Anyway?" He sketches the three fundamental questions--or sets of questions--that constitute the heart of "moral" inquiry and argument.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 52
JEL Classification: K10Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 6, 2000
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