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Defining Legal Moralism

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  • Jens Damgaard Thaysen
This paper discusses how legal moralism should be defined. It is argued
that legal moralism should be defined as the position that “For any X, it
is always a pro tanto reason for justifiably imposing legal regulation on X that
X is morally wrong (where “morally wrong” is not conceptually equivalent to
“harmful”)”. Furthermore, a distinction between six types of legal moralism is
made. The six types are grouped according to whether they are concerned with
the enforcement of positive or critical morality, and whether they are concerned
with criminalising, legally restricting, or refraining from legally protecting morally
wrong behaviour. This is interesting because not all types of legal moralism
are equally vulnerable to the different critiques of legal moralism that have
been put forth. Indeed, I show that some interesting types of legal moralism
have not been criticised at all.
TidsskriftSATS - Northern European Journal of Philosophy
Sider (fra-til)179-201
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 2015


  • Legal Moralism, Limits of the Law, Proper Legislative Aim, Legal Enforcement of Morality

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