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Title: Practical Wisdom & Meta-Normative Reflection: Essays on Moral and Legal Normativity
Authors: Atiq, Emad
Advisors: Smith, Michael A
Rosen, Gideon
Contributors: Philosophy Department
Keywords: Analytic Jurisprudence
Legal Philosophy
Subjects: Philosophy
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation’s aim is to secure meta-normative foundations for ethics and legal theory. It consists of seven self-contained but interconnected papers. The first four form the first part of the dissertation, entitled “Meta-Normative Foundations for Ethics.” These essays raise and address challenges facing a class of related meta-normative theories. The defensive maneuvers are all in the service of vindicating an original meta-normative theory for understanding moral thought and talk: Quasi-Realist Contextualist Expressivism, described in some detail in the preface. The second part, entitled “Meta-Normative Foundations for Law,” consists of three essays that apply the results of meta-normative investigation to practical legal problems. The aim is show that general meta-normative theorizing has a substantial practical payoff: it is crucial for understanding legal rules in American common and constitutional law. In chapter 1, “The Hard Problem of Supervenience,” I raise and address a challenge facing expressivists: that of explaining why normative properties supervene on repeatable non-normative properties. In chapter 2, “How to be Impartial as a Subjectivist,” I explain why expressivism and related views do not have unacceptable ethical implications concerning moral disagreement. In chapter 3, “On Ground as a Guide to Realism,” I raise problems for the dominant view on what distinguishes quasi-realism about normative properties from robust realism, according to which “real” properties play a certain explanatory role. In chapter 4, “The Normative Distinction between Quasi-Realism & Realism,” I argue that the difference between realism and quasi-realism can be characterized in normative terms. In chapter 5, “Juridical Obligations at the Edge of Legality,” I argue that the nature of legal normative claims entails that judges have no legal obligation to follow the law in all cases. In chapter 6, “Legal vs. Factual Normative Question,” I argue that the difference between convention-dependent and convention-independent normative facts entails a difference in how judges should treat normative questions that arise under common law. In chapter 7, “The Limits of Law in the Evaluation of Mitigating Evidence,” developed together with Erin Miller, we argue that the difference between legal and moral decision-making is a matter of constitutional significance.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Philosophy

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