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Moral Foundations of American Law

Faith, Virtue and Mores

Book | 1st edition 2013 | United Kingdom | Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., Douglas W. Pinto Jr.

“This excellent book is about Western morality as it interacts with law. It is not contrasting the moral foundations of American law with other value systems. Rather the authors examine the history and great diversity of Western thought, the substance of moral ideas. They range from the ancients to the new old order of the New World. Hazard and Pinto see the various voices articulating moral, political and legal thought as “pregnant with future relevance” for practical decision-making. Thus their approach is not relativistic, but mindful of alternatives and historical context. Hazard and Pinto have written a most thoughtful and stimulating study.”
Gerhard Casper, Professor of Law, Emeritus and President Emeritus of Stanford University

“Beginning with the reality and challenge of modern Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Hazard and Pinto demonstrate the relationships and differences among law, morals, and politics. Hazard, a legal ethicist and scholar, and Pinto, a biblical historian, are a unique team. Their succinct and vital work draws from the wisdom of the ancients and the evolution of modern thought. Anyone concerned with the living law must understand its moral roots to sense when the old growth should be pruned and the new nurtured in light of evolving principles of liberty, equality, and morality.”
Michael Traynor, President Emeritus of the American Law Institute

“This is an unstuffy and lively account of fundamental values in American, and indeed Western, public and civic life. The whole historical background is presented both clearly and comprehensively. This attractively succinct book deserves to be read by all who are interested in our public life. The writing is so incisive and compelling that I read this book in a single sitting.”
Neil H. Andrews, Professor of Civil Justice and Private Law, University of Cambridge

“In this concise meditation on the relationship between law and morality, Dr. Pinto and Professor Hazard – one of our leading thinkers on law and the legal profession and himself the embodiment of Aristotelian “practical wisdom” (arête) – take us on a most engaging tour of our intellectual and moral heritage, helping us to understand the moral foundations of our modern legal system and the language of the law. I commend this book to any interested reader and particularly to non-lawyers who may not have considered how deeply and mysteriously intertwined our legal rules are with religious belief and historical origins.”
David F. Levi, Dean and Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law

‘A book to ponder, in which in less than 200 pages, Hazard and Pinto show us everything that American political and legal thinking owes to the authors of a continent whose European immigrants dreamed of achieving a utopia.
A.J. Bullier in Revue de droit international et de droit comparé (2013) 648’

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Hardback
EAN / ISSN 9781780681443
Weight 366 g
Status Available
Number of pages xiv + 188 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Mar 20, 2013
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Part I. Matters of Principle
  • Chapter 2. Modern Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings
  • Chapter 3. A Matter of Principle
  • Chapter 4. Ethics and Epistemology
  • Chapter 5. Portfolios of Principles
  • Part II. The Wisdom of the Ancients
  • Chapter 6. Judaism and Early Christianity
  • Chapter 7. Greek Thought and Roman Practice
  • Part III. The Church Triumphant
  • Chapter 8. Roman Empire
  • Chapter 9. “Honeymoon” for Theology and Philosophy
  • Part IV. Revolution in Moral and Political Thought
  • Chapter 10. The Renaissance
  • Chapter 11. Voices of Humanism
  • Chapter 12. Old Order Imperfectly Restored
  • Part V. New Order
  • Chapter 13. Old Order in the New World
  • Chapter 14. American Constitutions
  • Chapter 15. The Constitution of the United States
  • Chapter 16. The Short Life of Virtue Politics
  • Chapter 17. “All Men Are Created Equal”
  • Chapter 18. The Life of American Law
  • Index