Preferences for Law?

27 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2017

See all articles by Frederick Schauer

Frederick Schauer

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2017


This paper is a response to commentary on The Force of Law offered at a symposium at the University of Chicago Law School and published in Law and Social Inquiry. In responding to commentary and critique from Daryl Levinson, Don Herzog, Gillian Hadfield, Robert Ellickson, Janice Nadler, and Robin Kar, I focus principally on the questions of what it would mean for law qua law to be an important factor in the decisions of officials and of citizens, whether it is in reality such a factor, and the extent to which citizens and officials genuinely do have sanction-independent preferences for law and legality once we distinguish between the substantive content of law and the content-independent fact of law.

Keywords: law, sanctions, coercion, force, legality

Suggested Citation

Schauer, Frederick, Preferences for Law? (November 1, 2017). Law and Social Inquiry, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2017, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2017-60, Available at SSRN:

Frederick Schauer (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

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