Hume and Law  book cover
1st Edition

Hume and Law

Edited By

Ken Mackinnon

  • This format cannot be shipped to your selected country.
ISBN 9780754627333
Published May 2, 2012 by Routledge
588 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

There has been a huge upsurge in Hume research over the past thirty years. However, one area that has not received its due share of attention is David Hume's legal thought where the research has been fragmented and often un-championed. This volume - the first collection of essays in English to focus on Hume's legal ideas - celebrates the diversity of Hume's contributions to jurisprudence. Topics are as varied as legal causation, theories of punishment and of property, contract, and legal obligation. Hume's notorious assertion of the artificiality of justice is discussed and the articles are supplemented by a bibliography of law-related articles on Hume. The juxtaposing of these topics brings out the - often unappreciated - coherence of the theory that underlies them, anchoring law firmly in Hume's overall epistemology and empiricist methodology. Hume's key insight that law and legal institutions develop contextually but naturally from conventions, driven by the human condition, is a particularly modern one. And it is one, as these essays reveal, that opens up a huge potential for further research - by philosophers, social scientists, and jurists.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part I Law and Legal Theory: David Hume and the 18th-century conception of natural law, Philip Milton; David Hume and the empiricist theory of law, Sheldon Wein; David Hume's legal theory: the significance of general laws, Neil McArthur; The place of Hume in the history of jurisprudence, Alfons Beitzinger. Part II Justice: Origins: David Hume and justice, Ian F.G. Baxter; Hume and Rawls on the circumstances and priority of justice, Andrew Lister; Obligation: Legal obligation in Hume, Luigi Bagolini; Hume's reply to the Sensible Knave, Gerald J. Postema; Hume's Knave and the interests of justice, Jason Baldwin; Content and Scope of Justice: From order to justice, Russell Hardin; Rule-utilitarianism and Hume's theory of justice, Alistair Macleod; Hume on justice to animals, Indians and women, Arthur Kuflik. Part III Property: Hume's theory of property, George E. Panichas; Property and possession: two replies to Locke - Hume and Hegel, Christopher J. Berry; The advantages and difficulties of the Humean theory of property, Jeremy Waldron. Part IV Contract: Promises: Rules, rights and promises, G.E.M. Anscombe; Promises, promises, promises, Annette Baier. Part V Law and Government: including social contract: Hume and Kant on the social contract, Jeffrie G. Murphy; Hume and contractarianism, Frederick G. Whelan; The shackles of virtue: Hume on allegiance to government, Rachel Cohon; Hume and the future of the society of nations, R.J. Glossop. Part VI Liberty: The preservation of liberty, Nicholas Capaldi. Part VII Causation: Philosophical preliminaries, H.L.A. Hart and Tony Honoré. Part VIII Responsibility and Punishment: Character, purpose, and criminal responsibility, Michael D. Bayles; Hume on responsibility and punishment, Paul Russell; Hume on punishment, A. Wesley Cragg; To exclude or not to exclude improperly obtained evidence: is a Humean approach more helpful?, James Allan; Name index.

View More



Ken Mackinnon is Professor and Head of Law, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, UK