Between Authority and Interpretation: On the Theory of Law and Practical Reason

By Joseph Raz

{Oxford University Press: 2009}

Winter 2010

  • Print this article

In his new book, Between Authority and Interpretation: On the Theory of Law and Practical Reason, Professor Joseph Raz examines jurisprudence and the nature of law through the lens of philosophy and practical reason. Raz, the Thomas M. Macioce Professor of Law, is a renowned expert on legal, moral, and political philosophy. The series of essays in his latest publication serve to summarize Raz’s contribution to the philosophy of law and to numerous current debates in practical philosophy.

Raz begins the book by examining methodological issues. He focuses on issues fundamental to understanding the nature of jurisprudence, and delves into questions such, as “How can the nature of law be explained?” and “How can the success of a legal theory be established?” Raz then moves on to study morality’s role in the nature of law, as well as in the nature of legal reasoning and authority. He explains that while legitimate law is an aspect of applied morality, it is also a comparatively autonomous system that can bridge moral differences.

The last section of Between Authority and Interpretation is a first-ever compendium of Raz’s work on the nature of interpretation in law and the humanities. The book also includes a new essay discussing interpretive pluralism and the possibility of innovation in interpretation.

  • Print this article