Laws, Plans and Practical Rationality
Diritto & questioni pubbliche, Vol. 12 (2012): 211-254
45 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2012
There is, according to many contemporary jurisprudential theories, a tight relationship between law and practical rationality: the law gives us, or at least it purports to give us, reasons for action. In his book, Legality (2011), Scott J. Shapiro puts forward what at first glance appears to be a new view in this vein. Shapiro calls it the “Planning Theory” of law; it provides an account of what the law is in terms of a particular kind of reasons: plans (a notion moulded, in his work in the philosophy of action, by Michael E. Bratman). In this paper, I provide a reconstruction of the Planning Theory as a view of the relationships between law and practical rationality, and I point to some fundamental issues which, when considered in this light, the theory leaves open, or which seem to raise trouble for it.
Keywords: Scott J. Shapiro, Planning theory of law, Practical rationality and the law, Legal reasons for action, Plans, Michael E. Bratman
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