Poor Wesley Hohfeld
21 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2018 Last revised: 29 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 21, 2018
John Wesley Hohfeld has lost one audience and gained another within the century since he published his seminal Fundamental Legal Conceptions. Hohfeld originally conceived of his work as an aide to lawyers and law students. And law faculties initially embraced him with ardor. Over time, however, law faculties have lost interest in Hohfeld, and moral philosophers have taken their place, such that it is difficult to read widely today regarding the ethics of war and self defense without coming across supportive references to Hohfeld. Unfortunately, moral theorists too often invoke Hohfeld for propositions that he explicitly disavowed. Using Uwe Steinhoff and other commentators as foils, I discuss several of the most common errors that moral and legal commentators make about Hohfeld.
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