Frederick Schauer

How (and If) Law Matters

Harvard Law Review Forum


Mark Greenberg’s deep and thoughtful review of The Force of Law1 flatters me in two ways. Of minimal importance is Greenberg’s generous appraisal of the book and the issues it seeks to put on the agenda of legal theory. Much more valuable is the review’s challenging critical engagement with several of the book’s major themes. In many places Greenberg’s critique is on target and has caused me to rethink some of my arguments and the ways in which I expressed them.2 But in other places there remain interesting disagreements, and delving more deeply into two of them — first, the relationship between the law’s ability to provide reasons for action and the existence (or not) of a moral obligation to obey the law; and, second, the nature and role of conceptual analysis in jurisprudential inquiry — may enable us to move a bit further down the path of understanding the phenomenon of law. 


Frederick Schauer, How (and If) Law Matters, 129 Harvard Law Review Forum, 350–359 (2016).

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