Universiteit Antwerpen

Practical Reason, Law, and Normativity, May 7, 2010

The Symposium aims to address some fundamental questions relative to the normativity of practical reason and law. A comprehensive treatment of the normative dimension within the practical realm law seems especially timely now, since new groundbreaking studies of the normativity of practical reason and law have been recently published or are in the process of being published. This increasing interest in normativity notwithstanding, no systematic study of the normativity of law has been undertaken in the recent years. Further, in the existing debate concerning the normativity of law there is no attempt to either establish a connection between normativity of law and normativity of practical reason or produce a general theory of normativity in practical contexts. The proposed symposium is thought as an opportunity to discuss practical reason, law, normativity, and their mutual relations. The rationale underlying the symposium is reflected in the assumption that the normativity of law is a specific instantiation of the normativity of practical reason to the effect, on the one hand, that a comprehensive study of the normativity of law requires familiarity with the philosophical debate concerning foundational normative issues, and, on the other, that any study of the normativity of law may have implications for the treatment of the normativity of practical reason. In consideration of the fact that the question of normativity is widely regarded as a necessary component of law and, hence, a component that any theory of law seeking to be comprehensive has to explicate, the implication of this approach is that the philosophical treatment of normativity is directly relevant to the legal domain. In particular, legal theory will benefit enormously from a critical engagement with practical philosophy, since the problem of the normativity of law lies at the very heart of any comprehensive legal-theoretical project, and the provision of an account of the normativity of law can be argued to be the central task of jurisprudence, to the effect that the failure to explain legal normativity is a serious drawback for a general theory of law.



13.00-13.30: Sandwich lunch

Session 1
13.30-15.00: Speaker: Stephen Darwall (Yale University): The Second- Personal Authority of Morality and Law

15.00-16-30: Speaker: Sylvie Delacroix (University College London): The Audacity of Moral Choice (Click here to see the paper)
Chairperson: Stefano Bertea

16.30-17.00: Coffee break

Session 2
17.00-18.30: Speaker: Simon Blackburn (Cambridge University): Whose Empire? Law, Ethics, or Expediency?
Chairperson: George Pavlakos

 Click here to see the poster

Location: Gebouw D, Room 424, Grote Kauwenberg 18 (map)

Pre-registration to the event is much welcome. Please, send an email to stefano.bertea@uantwerpen.be