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Law and Evil

The Evolutionary Perspective Wojciech Załuski, Full Professor, Department of Philosophy of Law and Legal Ethics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Law and Evil presents an alternative evolutionary picture of man, focusing on the origins and nature of human evil, and demonstrating its useful application in legal-philosophical analyses. Using this representation of human nature, Wojciech Załuski analyses the development of law, which he interprets as moving from evolutionary ethics to genuine ethics, as well as arguing in favour of metaethical realism and ius naturale.
Extent: 160 pp
Hardback Price: $99.95 Web: $89.95
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78643 649 8
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  • Law - Academic
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Law and Society
  • Legal Philosophy
  • Legal Theory
Law and Evil presents an alternative evolutionary picture of man, focusing on the origins and nature of human evil, and demonstrating its useful application in legal-philosophical analyses. Using this representation of human nature, Wojciech Załuski analyses the development of law, which he interprets as moving from evolutionary ethics to genuine ethics, as well as arguing in favour of metaethical realism and ius naturale.

Załuski argues that human nature is undoubtedly ambivalent: human beings have been endowed by natural selection with moral, immoral, and neutral tendencies (the first ambivalence), and the moral tendencies themselves are ambivalent (the second ambivalence), giving rise to an inferior form of ethics called ‘evolutionary ethics’. Introducing a novel distinction between two types of evil, primary and secondary, this book explores the differences between evolutionary ethics and genuine ethics in order to analyse the history of legal systems and the controversy between natural law and legal positivism.

Engaging and thought-provoking, this insightful book will be vital reading for both legal scholars and philosophers, especially those of law and moral philosophy. Evolutionary biologists with an interest in a philosophical interpretation of the results of evolutionary biology will also find this book an important read.
‘Załuski’s work stands as a valuable contribution to better understanding the often neglected dynamic moments of the law and its making. By making use of a philosophically refined evolutionary approach to the law, he is not only able to identify the fundamental components regarding the nature of the legal phenomenon, he also offers a new perspective through which to investigate the eternal question of why humans tend to commit evil and the role law and its actors may play in it, as a restraining force.’
– Mauro Zamboni, Stockholm University, Sweden

‘Wojciech Załuski offers an erudite, insightful, and thought-provoking study of the place of evil for our jurisprudential understandings of law and justice. Situated at the junctures and dis-junctures between and among evolutionary theory, the developments of natural law and legal positivism, and metaethics, Law and Evil raises new and important questions for our understandings of evil within legal thinking and practice.’
– David Fraser, University of Nottingham, UK
Contents: Introduction 1. The double ambivalence of human nature 2. Progress in law: towards genuine ethics 3. Evolution, metaethics and the natural law Epilogue: Evil and metaphysics Bibliography Index