TermsforLS109midterm - Terms for LS 109 midterm(as of...

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Terms for LS 109 midterm (as of 3/7/08) Practical authority: Someone or some institution claims to be a a practical authority if the fact that they tell you to do something purports to give you a reason to do that thing. Example: Law (or legal officials). Epistemic authority: Someone or some institution claims to be an epistemic authority if the fact that they tell you to believe something purports to give you a reason to believe that thing. Example: Dictionaries. Legitimate authority: An authority is legitimate if it has a right to tell you what to do (or what to believe (or, alternatively, in fact you ought to do or believe what it says). We need a theory of authority to explain why the claims of certain institutions – and, for purposes of this class, especially the criminal law – give us reason to comply. Command theory: you should accept the authority because it inherently has the right to command you (e.g., God). Consequence/Prudential theory: you should accept the authority because either bad things will happen if you don’t (e.g,, punishment), or good things will happen to you if you do (e.g., you will accomplish your own goals better). Moral theory: There are independent moral reasons to do what the authority says. For example, a promissory theory says you should accept it because you have promised the institution to accept its authority. Democratic theory : You should accept the authority because it reflects a majority will, and you have moral reason to defer to the decisions of the majority. Voluntarist theory: You owe the state obedience because you chose to do so (or promised). Associative theory: You should accept the authority because you stand in a certain relation to the institution/person (e.g., as a child to parents, as a fellow citizen). Hypothetical (or “hypo”): An imaginary case, to test your intuitions or ability to employ a concept or rule. Necessity defense: A justification for breaking the law on the grounds that the harm averted by breaking the law is greater than the harm the law would have prevented (e.g., killing 1 to save 5). Jurisdiction: The region, or set of disputes, over which a legal institution has authority. 1
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Syllogistic reasoning: reasoning of the form , All As are X, this is an A, therefore this is an X.
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