Moral Foundations of American Law

Faith, Virtue and Mores

By Geoffery C. Hazard Jr., Douglas W. Pinto Jr.

This excellent book is about Western morality as it interacts with law. It is not contrasting the moral foundations of American law with other value systems. Rather the authors examine the history and great diversity of Western thought, the substance of moral ideas. They range from the ancients to the new old order of the New World. Hazard and Pinto see the various voices articulating moral, political and legal thought as "pregnant with future relevance" for practical decision-making. Thus their approach is not relativistic, but mindful of alternatives and historical context. Hazard and Pinto have written a most thoughtful and stimulating study. -- Gerhard Casper, Professor of Law, Emeritus and President Emeritus, Stanford U. *** Beginning with the reality and challenge of modern Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Hazard and Pinto demonstrate the relationships and differences among law, morals, and politics. Hazard, a legal ethicist and scholar, and Pinto, a biblical historian, are a unique team. Their succinct and vital work draws from the wisdom of the ancients and the evolution of modern thought. Anyone concerned with the living law must understand its moral roots to sense when the old growth should be pruned and the new nurtured in light of evolving principles of liberty, equality, and morality. -- Michael Traynor, President Emeritus, American Law Institute *** In this concise meditation on the relationship between law and morality, one of our leading thinkers on law and the legal profession, himself the embodiment of Aristotelian "practical wisdom" (arete), takes us on a most engaging tour of our intellectual and moral heritage, helping us to understand the moral foundations of our modern legal system and the language of the law. I commend this book to any interested reader and particularly to non-lawyers who may not have considered how deeply and mysteriously intertwined our legal rules are with religious belief and historical origins. -- David F. Levi, Dean and Professor of Law, Duke U. School of Law *** This is an unstuffy and lively account of fundamental values in American, and indeed Western, public and civic life. The whole historical background is presented both clearly and comprehensively. This attractively succinct book deserves to be read by all who are interested in our public life. The writing is so incisive and compelling that I read this book in a single sitting. -- Neil H. Andrews, Professor of Civil Justice and Private Law, U. of Cambridge

202 pages

Publication Date: 4/14/2013
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781780681443