by Scott Hershovitz
Harvard University Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-0-674-25855-6 | eISBN: 978-0-674-29486-8
Library of Congress Classification K247.6.H47 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 340.112


A powerful argument for the essential role of morality in law, getting at the heart of key debates in public life.

What is law? And how does it relate to morality? It’s common to think that law and morality are different ways of regulating our lives. But Scott Hershovitz says that this is a mistake: law is a part of our moral lives. It’s a tool we use to adjust our moral relationships. The legal claims we advance in court, Hershovitz argues, are moral claims. And our legal conflicts are moral conflicts.

Law Is a Moral Practice supplies fresh answers to fundamental questions about the nature of law and helps us better appreciate why we disagree about law so deeply. Reviving a neglected tradition of legal thought most famously associated with Ronald Dworkin, Hershovitz engages with important legal and political controversies of our time, including recent debates about constitutional interpretation and the obligations of citizens and officials to obey the law.

Leavened by entertaining personal stories, guided by curiosity rather than ideology, moving beyond entrenched dichotomies like the opposition between positivism and natural law, Law Is a Moral Practice is a thought-provoking investigation of the philosophical issues behind real-world legal debates.