MOVED TO FRONT
Our newest member, Paul Gowder, has uploaded his paper, "Equal Law in an Unequal World", for discussion in our Working Paper Group. Here is brief paper blurb that Paul sent me (followed by the group rules and guidelines):
This paper, "Equal Law in an Unequal World," will be a bit different from what you're used to. First, it's intended for a legal academic audience (and, per the unfortunate practice of law journals, is rather long), although I am equally concerned to have philosophers and political/legal theorists be able to accept the argument. So far, it's only had legal audiences in various workshops and such.
It's also a follow-on to a previous paper of mine, entitled "The Rule of Law and Equality," forthcoming in Law & Philosophy. If anyone is infected with a burning curiosity, the previous paper can be found in pre-print at:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10982-012-9161-2 , or in a very-slightly pre-final version on SSRN at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1918742.
The current paper is, in essence, about what it would take to fulfill the ideal of legal equality, in light of the fact that a) for reasons I give, formally equal law (i.e., law that treats everyone the same) is impossible, and b) even law that approximates formal equality can exacerbate real-world inequalities.
I'm particularly interested in being screamed at as necessary about the doubtless-gross deficiencies in my account of how we might find the social meaning, or expressive content (and I really need to do a better job of determining if those can be different) of a law.
Thanks so much!
Abstract: This paper develops the egalitarian conception of the rule of law. Its object is to further clarify how we determine whether a society has or does not have the rule of law, and use these clarifications to show that the regulative idea of the rule of law is an important tool in the fight for economic justice.
The paper carries out three tasks. It clarifies what it takes for the state to satisfy the rule of law demand that the laws must be general, that is, they treat all citizens equally. It shows that the evaluation of whether a society comports with the rule of law does not depend solely on facts about the legal system, but also on a host of other non-legal social facts, particularly, the extent to which some members of society are the victims of (non-legal) injustice. And, it shows that the rule of law generates a critique of economic injustice. It follows that the traditional association of the rule of law with the political right, and its critique from the left, are misguided.
Here, finally, are the group's rules and guidelines:
- The paper is posted over at Dropbox.com.
- In order to access it, you must email me at email@example.com for the login and password. Once you have these, just login into dropbox and download the paper.
- Barring unforseen and unfortunate circumstances, our dropbox login and password will be the same for all future working papers.
- The login, password, and working papers themselves are in no circumstance to be distributed to anyone. In order to maintain the integrity of our forum, I alone am authorized to distribute them.
- In order to maintain the safe and supportive integrity of the paper discussion, I will only distribute the login and password to registered members of The Philosophers' Cocoon.
- As always, any professional philosopher who wants to become a member of the Cocoon is welcome to email me to join. However, you must become a member to participate in the working paper group.
- Basic ground-rules for the paper discussion (which should simply proceed in the comments section below) are as follows:
- You must have access to -- and presumably have read! -- the paper in order to comment.
- Comments should aim to be helpful in nature. If you raise an objection, try to suggest potential way(s) to resolve it. The purpose of this group is to help our friends here at the Cocoon improve their papers, not to show off one's awesome refutation skills.
- Be a good dude/dude-ette. Do everything you can to make this a positive experience for the paper presenters.
Thanks, in advance, to everyone who participates!