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Legislative Intent and Other Essays on Politics, Law, and Morality
Gerald C. MacCallum
Edited by Marcus G. Singer and Rex Martin

In the last years of his life, Gerald C. MacCallum, Jr., defied illness to continue his work on the philosophy of law. This book is a monument to MacCallum’s effort, containing fourteen of his essays, five of them published here for the first time. Two of those previously published are widely admired and reprinted: “Legislative Intent,” certainly one of the best papers ever published on its topic, and “Negative and Positive Freedom,” which offered a new way of looking at a distinction that had been canonical for the last two centuries.

To complete MacCallum’s unfinished pieces, Marcus G. Singer and Rex Martin painstakingly consulted MacCallum’s notes for planned revisions. MacCallum discusses legal reasoning, the application of rules, the interpretation of statutes and constitutional provisions, and the relation of these matters to morality and justice. In the last decade of his working life, he became greatly concerned with the interrelated themes of integrity, autonomy, conscience, and violence. He wished to relate competition to morality and justice to adversarial systems of law. These themes are woven together in Legislative Intent and constitute the main subject of some of the essays.

MacCallum was engaged in a constant search for truth and understanding, and in his life and work lived up to Emerson’s vision of the “American Scholar” as a “human being thinking.” These essays are informed by the author’s deep curiosity, penetrating intelligence, wide knowledge, and outstanding character. They will be treasured wherever these characteristics and true philosophy are treasured.

Gerald C. MacCullum, Jr., (1925–1987) was professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He made great contributions to his profession by serving on many boards and committees, including the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Future and Status of the Profession, and through his many public lectures to universities and professional organizations in the United States and abroad. In late 1986, just before his death, he completed his book, Political Philosophy. Marcus G. Singer, professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is the author of Generalization in Ethics: An Essay in the Logic of Ethics, with the Rudiments of a System of Moral Philosophy and the editor of several volumes of philosophical writings. Rex Martin, professor of philosophy at the University of Kansas, is the author of A System of Rights and Historical Explanation: Re-enactment and Practical Inference.


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November 1993

LC: 93-000841 K
288 pp. 6 x 9

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Cloth $45.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-13860-8
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