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Is Theorizing about the Nature of Law Practically Significant?

Title: Is theorizing about the nature of law practically significant?

Time: Thursday, May 27, 2021, 9:15 – 10:15 PM (Beijing Time)

Moderator: Norman P. Ho, Peking University School of Transnational Law

Meeting link:

Meeting ID: 885 5343 8579;Passcode: 148099

Language: English


Hrafn Asgeirsson is Reader (Associate Professor) in Philosophy and Law at the University of Surrey, School of Law and member (and currently co-director) of the Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy. He is also Director of Ph.D. Admissions. Prior to that, he was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Iceland, and before that Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Monash University, Faculty of Law. In 2015, Hrafn was H.L.A. Hart Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Ethics and Philosophy of Law.

Seminar abstract:

Many think that if legal disagreements become deep enough, then our only hope of resolving them must come from general jurisprudence, i.e. from theories about the nature of law. Others think – perhaps surprisingly – that what the law “really” is at best has indirect practical value, and that philosophical theories about the nature of law are more likely to confuse and obscure than to clarify and provide guidance in adjudication. In this short talk, I briefly explain these contrasting viewpoints and point out that even if the skeptics were to win out, their conclusion still rests on jurisprudential argument.

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