Moral Puzzles and Legal Perplexities: Essays on the Influence of Larry Alexander, ed. Heidi M. Hurd (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
20 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019
Date Written: 2018
In this opening chapter of Moral Puzzles and Legal Perplexities: Essays on the Influence of Larry Alexander, ed. Heidi M. Hurd (Cambridge University Press, 2018), I sketch the scope and impact of Larry Alexander’s voluminous scholarly corpus and outline the controversies with which the volume’s contributors engage. The chapter begins with a biographical sketch that provides interesting insights into man himself and identifies formative influences on his life’s work. It then provides a taxonomy of the intellectual positions that Larry has famously staked out within the four academic disciplines to which he has made path-breaking contributions: criminal law, constitutional law, jurisprudence, and moral philosophy. In identifying the theses for which Larry is best known, I outline the bases upon which these theses are controversial and note the points of intersection with the chapters that his admiring critics have contributed to the volume. This introduction thus provides a “reader’s guide” for those who seek to master the positions that Larry has defended across the array of fields to which he has contributed, as well as the systematic philosophical connections between those positions that might be lost on those who read only disparate essays. It also provides an overview of the twenty-two original essays that comprise this volume as well as Larry’s concluding chapter, which offers both vigorous defenses of his signature theses and gracious appreciation for the formidable challenges to these provocative positions advanced by the volume’s contributors.
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