Law Through the Prism of Planning

Scott J. Shapiro, Legality (Belknap Press 2011). Mark Greenberg Scott Shapiro's splendid new book offers a novel theory of the nature of law: legal systems are essentially systems for complex, impersonal, social planning, and legal norms are plans. The book thus provides a new perspective on law, which is both refreshing and fruitful. By thinking about the origins, purposes, and essential features of plans, we gain insight into law. A not-insignificant side benefit is that law is connected to topics in contemporary philosophy of action. Legality has more virtues that I can discuss here. To begin with, although the book is a highly original contribution to the philosophy of law, it presupposes relatively little background. It is also extremely clearly and engagingly written. The book would therefore make a superb text for an advanced undergraduate or graduate course. Continue reading "Law Through the Prism of Planning"

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