[Foundation-l] Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Fri Jan 23 16:22:16 UTC 2009

> I'm sorry, Thomas, but until people learn to use jurisprudential
> concepts such as "moral rights" properly, I have a moral obligation to
> point out where they are used mistakenly.  This is not a question of
> "the world outside the legal profession" (and, indeed, if you were a
> member of the legal profession -- or a philosopher -- you wouldn't
> make the mistake of supposing this).  Philosophy of law is accessible
> to people who aren't lawyers -- even you. But it's clear that the word
> "moral rights" is being thrown around here by people who are only
> casually familiar with the concept. When you have actually given some
> study to jurisprudential philosophers (see, e.g., H.L.A. Hart and Lon
> Fuller) and can offer some more sophisticated philosophical analysis
> than you offer here, I will be able to take your pronunciamentos more
> seriously.

Where do you think laws come from? Do you think they appear from
nowhere? They are created by politicians (and sometimes judges) based
on moral values. Those moral values imply certain moral rights whether
they are written down in statute (or case law) or not.

> Do you understand what the term "term of art" means?

Honestly? No, I'd have to look it up. However, I don't need to know
fancy lawyer speak to understand the concept of morality.

> By the way, most members of the legal profession are not students of
> the philosophy of law. It is your misfortune that, in me, you have
> come across someone who is. I'm not disqualified from pointing out
> philosophical mistakes merely because I can hang out a shingle.

Well, maybe when you progress a little further in your studies you'll
actually know something about the subject. I'm a mathematician, I am
well trained in logic and reasoned argument. That's not dissimiliar to
the training philosophers have (well, those that argue about vaguely
meaningful things, rather than angels and pins, anyway). While I may
not be an expert on the relevant facts, I can follow an argument and
see if it makes sense, and yours rarely do.

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