Evolutionary Theory and Legal Philosophy

Evolutionary Theory and Legal Philosophy

Wojciech Zaluski

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.

The Evolutionary Current in Legal Philosophy Against a Background of Traditional Currents

Wojciech Zaluski

Subjects: economics and finance, evolutionary economics, game theory


The Epilogue has two goals. The first one is to juxtapose the answers inspired by evolutionary theory to the questions defining a current in legal philosophy with the answers provided by traditional currents in legal philosophy. I treat the former answers as forming a starting point for building what may be dubbed the ‘evolutionary current in legal philosophy’. The second goal is to point to some avenues of further research within the evolutionary current in legal philosophy which have not been explored in this book or have only been explored cursorily. I believe that the label ‘evolutionary current in legal philosophy’, which implies that one may speak about the existence of a separate current in legal philosophy based on various insights of evolutionary theory, will be fully justified only when these (and perhaps other) avenues are explored in an in-depth manner. 1. TRADITIONAL CURRENTS IN LEGAL PHILOSOPHY AND THE EVOLUTIONARY CURRENT IN LEGAL PHILOSOPHY At the outset, let me recall that by ‘a current in legal philosophy’ I understand a set of well worked-out answers to the following questions: (1) (2) (3) The ontological question: what is law? The teleological-axiological question: what are the main goals of law and how should these goals be realized? The normativity question: (a) the normative aspect: what are the sources of the normative aspect of the law, that is, of the fact that legal norms give rise to reasons for action? (b) the motivational aspect: what is the explanation for the fact that humans...

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