Can the Law Help Us to Be Moral?
University of Warwick
University of Cambridge
June 25, 2012
Warwick School of Law Research Paper No. 2012/17
This essay looks at whether the law can help us to be moral. First, it assesses the law’s credentials to be an instrument or tool that can help us to be moral in a consequentialist, deontological, or virtue-ethical sense. As a tool, the law’s potential uses are 1) to be a moral advisor, 2) to set a moral example, and 3) to be a moral motivator. The law’s moral usefulness in each of these three ways is mixed. Second, the essay considers whether the law itself has intrinsic moral value. The essay shows that this is only true of the law of some legal systems.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: Ethics, Legal and Political Philosophy, Democracy, Justice, Natural law, Legal positivism, Punishment, ResponsibilityAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 25, 2012
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