How Do Roles Generate Reasons? A Method of Legal Ethics

forthcoming in Legal Ethics, Vol. 15, issue 1 (2012)

48 Pages Posted: 1 May 2012

See all articles by Stephen Galoob

Stephen Galoob

University of Tulsa College of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2012

Abstract

Philosophical discussions of legal ethics should be oriented around the generative problem, which asks two fundamental questions. First, how does the lawyer’s role generate reasons? Second, what kinds of reasons can this role generate?

Every extant theory of legal ethics is based on a solution to the generative problem. On the generative method, theories of legal ethics are evaluated based on the plausibility of these solutions. I apply this method to three prominent theories of legal ethics, finding that none is based on a fully satisfactory solution to the generative problem.

This method has important implication for the study of legal ethics. Philosophically, it moves theoretical debates about legal ethics closer to other debates about the sources of normativity, like those concerning promises. Further, this method identifies a real-world dimension to these theoretical debates. Focusing on the generative problem allows for the empirical verification of hypotheses about legal ethics that have, to date, largely been conjectured.

(This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the paper, which will be published in volume 15 of Legal Ethics)

Keywords: legal ethics, reasons, normativity, roles, promises, legal ethics-empirical study of

Suggested Citation

Galoob, Stephen, How Do Roles Generate Reasons? A Method of Legal Ethics (May 1, 2012). forthcoming in Legal Ethics, Vol. 15, issue 1 (2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2049489

Stephen Galoob (Contact Author)

University of Tulsa College of Law ( email )

3120 E. Fourth Place
Tulsa, OK 74104
United States

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