Montaigne's Inquiry into the Sources of Normativity
University College London - Faculty of Laws
Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 271-286, 2003
How can one explain the normative outcome of the initial law-creating practices without any reference to some pre-existing natural laws guaranteeing the lawgiver's enterprise? The challenge which the rejection of the classical natural law model represents amounts to explaining the normative dimension of law despite the arbitrariness of the social practices from which it stems. Montaigne gave both an exemplary formulation and a peculiar solution to that question: in order to reconstruct the authority of law despite the dangerous arbitrariness from which it flows, Montaigne decides to avoid any inquiry regarding the original law-creating practices by positing a law of pure obedience.
Keywords: Montaigne, normativity of law
Date posted: April 13, 2004
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