Joseph Raz

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Joseph Raz
Joseph Raz - 20090224.jpg
Raz, February 2009
Born (1939-03-21) 21 March 1939 (age 80)
Alma mater Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Balliol College, Oxford
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Legal positivism
Perfectionist liberalism
Main interests
Legal and political philosophy
Notable ideas
Perfectionist liberalism

Joseph Raz ( /rɑːz/ ; Hebrew : יוסף רז; born 21 March 1939) is an Israeli legal, moral and political philosopher. He is one of the most prominent advocates of legal positivism and is well known for his conception of perfectionist liberalism. Raz spent most of his career as a professor of philosophy of law at the University of Oxford associated with Balliol College, and is now a part-time professor of law at Columbia University Law School and a part-time professor at King's College London. [1] He received the prestigious Tang Prize for rule of law in 2018.

Hebrew language Semitic language native to Israel

Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language native to Israel; the modern version of which is spoken by over 9 million people worldwide. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only living Canaanite language left, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language.

Israelis are the citizens or permanent residents of the State of Israel, a multiethnic state populated by people of different ethnic backgrounds. The largest ethnic groups in Israel are Jews (75%), followed by Arabs (20%) and other minorities (5%). Among the Israeli Jewish population, hundreds of thousands of Jews born in Israel are descended from Ashkenazi Jew, Mizrahi Jews, Sephardi Jews and an array of groups from all the Jewish ethnic divisions, though over 50% of Israel’s Jewish population is of at least partial Mizrahi descent.

Political philosophy sub-discipline of philosophy and political science

Political philosophy, also known as political theory, is the study of topics such as politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of laws by authority: what they are, if they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect, what form it should take, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown, if ever.

Contents

Life and career

Born in Mandate Palestine in 1939, Joseph Raz graduated in 1963 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a Magister Juris ( summa cum laude ). Later, with funds provided by the Hebrew University, Raz pursued a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford under the supervision of H. L. A. Hart. Raz had met Hart earlier at a conference in Israel, impressing him by pointing out a flaw in his reasoning that had previously eluded him; Hart encouraged him to go to Oxford for further study. Raz studied at Balliol College and completed his DPhil in 1967.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israeli University in Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel's second oldest university, established in 1918, 30 years before the establishment of the State of Israel. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J. Safra Givat Ram campus.

MJur is an academic degree in law awarded by some universities.

Doctor of Philosophy Postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities in many countries

A Doctor of Philosophy is the highest university degree that is conferred after a course of study by universities in most English-speaking countries. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. As an earned research degree, those studying for a PhD are usually required to produce original research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation, and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD is often a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields. Individuals who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree may, in many jurisdictions, use the title Doctor or, in non-English-speaking countries, variants such as "Dr. phil." with their name, although the proper etiquette associated with this usage may also be subject to the professional ethics of their own scholarly field, culture, or society. Those who teach at universities or work in academic, educational, or research fields are usually addressed by this title "professionally and socially in a salutation or conversation." Alternatively, holders may use post-nominal letters such as "Ph.D.", "PhD", or "DPhil". It is, however, considered incorrect to use both the title and post-nominals at the same time.

He then returned to Israel to teach at the Hebrew University as a lecturer in the Faculty of Law and Department of Philosophy. In 1971, he was tenured and promoted to Senior Lecturer. In 1972, he returned to Balliol as a Fellow and Tutor in Law, becoming a Professor of Philosophy of Law, Oxford University, from 1985 to 2006, and then a Research Professor from 2006 to 2009. Since 2002 he has also been a Professor in the Law School at Columbia University. Raz, now retired from Oxford, is currently also a visiting professor of law at King's College London. [1]

Kings College London public research university located in London, United Kingdom

King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a founding constituent college of the federal University of London. King's was established in 1829 by King George IV and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, when it received its first royal charter, and claims to be the fourth oldest university institution in England. In 1836, King's became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London. In the late 20th century, King's grew through a series of mergers, including with Queen Elizabeth College and Chelsea College of Science and Technology, the Institute of Psychiatry, the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals and the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Philosophical work

A pupil of H. L. A. Hart, Raz has been important in continuing the development of legal positivism both before and since Hart's death. Raz was also co-editor of a second edition of Hart's The Concept of Law with a postscript including Hart's responses to other philosophers' criticisms of his work.

H. L. A. Hart 1907–1992; British legal philosopher

Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart, FBA, usually cited as H. L. A. Hart, was a British legal philosopher, and a major figure in political and legal philosophy. He was Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford University and the Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford. His most famous work is The Concept of Law, which has been hailed as "the most important work of legal philosophy written in the twentieth century". He is considered one of the world's foremost legal philosophers in the twentieth century, alongside Hans Kelsen.

The Concept of Law book by H.L.A. Hart

The Concept of Law (ISBN 0-19-876122-8) is the most famous work of the legal philosopher H. L. A. Hart. It was first published in 1961 and develops Hart's theory of legal positivism within the framework of analytic philosophy. In this work, Hart sets out to write an essay of descriptive sociology and analytical jurisprudence. The Concept of Law provides an explanation to a number of traditional jurisprudential questions such as "what is law?", "must laws be rules?", and "what is the relation between law and morality?". Hart answers these by placing law into a social context while at the same time leaving the capability for rigorous analysis of legal terms, which in effect "awakened English jurisprudence from its comfortable slumbers". As a result Hart's book has remained "one of the most influential text of analytical legal philosophy", as well as "the most successful work of analytical jurisprudence ever to appear in the common law world"

Raz's first book, The Concept of a Legal System, was based on his doctoral thesis. A later book, The Morality of Freedom won two prizes: the 1987 W.J.M. Mackenzie Book Prize from the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom, awarded to the best book in political science each calendar year; and the 1988 Elaine and David Spitz Book Prize from the Conference for the Study of Political Thought, New York, awarded annually for the best book in liberal and/or democratic theory that had been published two years earlier. The book develops a conception of perfectionist liberalism.

Perfectionist liberalism has been defined by Charles Larmore (1987) as the "family of views that base political principles on 'ideals claiming to shape our overall conception of the good life, and not just our role as citizens.'" Joseph Raz popularised those ideas. Other important contemporary theorists of liberal perfectionism are George Sher and Steven Wall. One can also find liberal perfectionist strands of thought in the writings of early liberals like John Stuart Mill and T.H.Green.

Raz has argued for a distinctive understanding of legal commands as exclusionary reasons for action and for the "service conception" of authority, according to which those subject to an authority "can benefit by its decisions only if they can establish their existence and content in ways which do not depend on raising the very same issues which the authority is there to settle." [2] This, in turn, supports Raz's argument for legal positivism, in particular "the sources thesis," "the idea that an adequate test for the existence and content of law must be based only on social facts, and not on moral arguments.". [2]

Raz is acknowledged by his contemporaries as being one of the most important living legal philosophers. He has authored and edited eleven books to date, namely The Concept of a Legal System (1970), Practical Reason and Norms (1975), The Authority of Law (1979), The Morality of Freedom (1986), Authority (1990), Ethics in the Public Domain (1994), Engaging Reason (1999), Value, Respect and Attachment (2001), The Practice of Value (2003), Between Authority and Interpretation (2009), and From Normativity to Responsibility (2011). His most recent work deals less with legal theory and more with political philosophy and practical reasoning. In moral theory, Raz defends value pluralism and the idea that various values are incommensurable.

Raz's work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in such cases as Imperial Tobacco v. British Columbia and Sauvé v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer) .

Several of Raz's students have become important legal and moral philosophers, including the three current Professors in Jurisprudence at Oxford, John Gardner, Leslie Green, and Timothy Endicott.

Honors and awards

Raz was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1987 [3] and of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1992. [4] He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Catholic University of Brussels, 1993, and by King's College London, 2009. In 2005 he received the International Prize for Legal Research 'Hector Fix-Zamudio' from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and in 2009 a Vice-Presidency Award from the Law Society of University College Dublin. In 2018 he received the Tang Prize. [5]

In 2000–2001, he gave the Tanner Lectures on Human Values on "The Practice of Value" at the University of California Berkeley. [6]

Books

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 "josephnraz" . Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  2. 1 2 Green, Leslie (1 January 2012). Zalta, Edward N., ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 3 February 2017 via Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  3. http://www.britac.ac.uk/users/professor-joseph-raz
  4. "cv - josephnraz" . Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  5. Tang Prize 2018
  6. "Past Lectures". The Tanner Lectures on Human Values at University of California Berkeley. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.

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References