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Evolutionary Theory and Legal Philosophy

Wojciech Zaluski, Full Professor, Department of Philosophy of Law and Legal Ethics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
This unique book presents various ways in which evolutionary theory can contribute to the analysis of key legal-philosophical problems.

Wojciech Zaluski explores three central questions; the ontological question – what is the nature of law?; the teleological-axiological question – what are the main values to be realized by law?; the normativity question, which has two aspects; normative: what explains the fact that legal norms provide reasons for action?, and motivational: what explains the fact that humans can be motivated by legal norms? It is argued that evolutionary theory suggests non-trivial answers to these questions, and that these answers can become the building blocks of a new – evolutionary – paradigm in legal philosophy.
Extent: 192 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84844 445 4
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78195 307 5

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  • Evolutionary Economics
  • Game Theory
This unique book presents various ways in which evolutionary theory can contribute to the analysis of key legal-philosophical problems.

Wojciech Zaluski explores three central questions; the ontological question – what is the nature of law?; the teleological-axiological question – what are the main values to be realized by law?; the normativity question, which has two aspects; normative: what explains the fact that legal norms provide reasons for action?, and motivational: what explains the fact that humans can be motivated by legal norms? It is argued that evolutionary theory suggests non-trivial answers to these questions, and that these answers can become the building blocks of a new – evolutionary – paradigm in legal philosophy.

Being the first study entirely devoted to the analysis of fundamental legal-philosophical problems from the standpoint of evolutionary theory, this book is a must-read for graduate and postgraduate students, practitioners and philosophers in the field of legal philosophy.
‘Zaluski has written an intelligent book on the relevancy of evolution theory for the understanding of the law. As any substantive contribution to jurisprudence, its contents are not uncontroversial, especially where he argues that evolution theory has something to say about human nature. However, Zaluski shows the evolutionary perspective on the law to be a refreshing and illuminating one.’
– Jaap Hage, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

‘Nobody interested in philosophy and in legal philosophy should miss this book. As a philosophical treatise it is of the highest standard, abundant with unexpected and valuable insights. And it leads the reader to the frontiers of new developments, especially how economics, game theory and evolutionary theory affect our understanding of the law. It masterly combines scientific acumen with a sense for humanity.’
– Hans-Bernd Schäfer, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany
Contents: Introduction 1. The Evolutionary View of Human Nature 2. The Ontological Question 3. The Teleological-Axiological Question 4. The Normativity Question Epilogue: The Evolutionary Current in Legal Philosophy Against a Background of Traditional Currents References Index