Permissions, Justifications, and Practical Reasoning
Moral Combat: Disagreement in Action, not Belief
Michael S. Moore and Heidi M. Hurd, University of Urbana-Champaign, USA
Typically, when philosophers discuss moral disagreements, they have in mind disagreements in the beliefs or attitudes of different people. We examine the possibility of there being moral disagreements of a different kind, what we call disagreements in action. We examine whether it is ever the case that what is right for one person to do it is right for another person to prevent doing, a kind of disagreement in action we call “moral combat.” We conclude that morality rules out the possibility of there being any such moral combat. This conclusion then allows us to motivate the development of a logic for active rights (these are rights to do things, what Hohfeld called “privileges” and that others often call “liberties” or “liberty-rights”). We develop such a logic in terms of what we call strong permissions. Such strong permissions require us to enrich standard deontic logic’s notion of a permission with relations of correlativity; in such an enriched logic of active rights, a strong permission held by one person to do some action A correlates, not merely with the absence (in others) of any passive right that the right holder not do A (as in the Hohfeldian logic of active rights), but with the presence of an obligation on the part of those others not to prevent the right holder from doing A. Three problems for such an enriched logic of active rights in terms of strong permissions are then discussed.

Other People’s Liberties
Andrew Halpin, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
In a number of recent articles, I have attempted to refine our understanding of the concept of liberty (permission). In this paper I address what happens when we examine the implications of a fuller understanding of liberty in a social context, including its relational character. In this broader context individual liberty is commonly expected to satisfy the twin objectives of individual self-realization and social cohesion. I suggest that recognition of a plurality of liberties among a number of individuals produces a conundrum: the evident advantages of a single individual possessing a liberty cannot be transferred to a greater number of beneficiaries.
The argument of the paper takes the following course. A bare liberty or “mere toleration” (von Wright) is regarded as inadequate to express a normatively rich notion of liberty or a “full permission” (von Wright) within a social context. The latter cannot be captured with the resources of deontic logic but can be expressed with the correlative and aggregative aspects of the Hohfeldian analytical scheme. The aggregative aspect is crucial to expanding our understanding of liberty beyond the mere negation of duty so as to include rights against interference imposing duties on others.
Whereas the correlative aspect of a liminal liberty of no duty, found in the no-right of another party, may be regarded as logically required under the Hohfeldian scheme, the aggregative aspect encompassing duties of non-interference on others is not a logical implication of the recognition of a liminal liberty. Instead, it is the product of further normative reasoning, which may be affected by different understandings of the competing rationales affecting the conduct promoted by the liberty and conduct amounting to interference with it. Although a complete understanding of liberty in a social context requires some duties of non-interference to be recognized, it appears that the precise contours of these relational liberties cannot be drawn by reference to individual liberty alone.
Two strategies for reinstating the paramount significance of individual liberty are considered: Heidi Hurd’s introduction of a further axiom, the “correspondence thesis”; and the invocations of reciprocity by Ariel Zylberman and Hanoch Dagan. Both strategies are found to be incapable of realizing the objective of self-realization for a plurality comprising all members of society.
The conclusion is reached that a principle of individual liberty is unable to retain its foundational standing in the construction of (Western) society; that in order to extend the advantages of individual liberty to all something other than liberty is required.

Can norms Justify?
Lorenz Kaehler, Bremen University, Germany
It is frequently assumed in everyday legal discourse as well as in jurisprudence that decisions can be justified by norms. Therefore, the concept of justification enjoys great popularity. However, it is not clear what precisely it entails. At first glance, it must mean something more than just the fact that a certain action is legal. Otherwise, the concept of justification would be superfluous and could be reduced to legality. Actions which are not prohibited would be justified merely in virtue of the fact that they are legal, even if there is no specific justifying norm or reason other than the lack of a prohibition of them. On the other hand, justification cannot simply mean that an action accords with morality. Not only does it lack a reference to morality. In addition, the concept could otherwise also be reduced to another concept and turn out as superfluous. Therefore, justification cannot be equated with morality either. This can also be seen in the fact that it is no contradiction to talk about immoral actions that are nevertheless justified by law. But if justification neither means being legal nor being moral what exactly does it mean then?
To make matters worse, it seems also unclear which entities are capable of justifying an action in the first place. For practical reasons this seems to be the case because their very task is a justification. If something is by its nature incapable of justifying an action, then it hardly can be a practical reason. Less clear seems to be the justificatory force of norms. The mere prescription of a certain action does not entail a reason that the action is justified. For such a conclusion one has at least to assume that the validity of a norm suffices for a justification of the actions prescribed by it. But such an assumption is not part of the propositional content of the norm. It hence must have another source which is also unclear. It could also be the case that norms by themselves cannot justify anything but merely trigger reasons which are capable of justification.
The paper shall address these questions in order to understand better the relationship between norms, reasons and justifications.

Justifications and Options
Horacio Spector, University of San Diego, USA, and Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina
A justification to harm or kill is generally considered an exception within a prohibitory legal or moral rule. I contend that this negative account of justifications does not explain the intuition that justified acts are typically valuable. Instead of the negative account, I propose a positive account that explains justifications as higher-order moral reasons. I suggest that justifications disable the disablers or exclusionary reasons protecting first-order moral reasons against harming or killing. Therefore, justifications are enablers allowing the agent to act in conformity with first-order reasons favoring the justified action. I also defend the Correlativity Thesis, according to which justifications for harming or killing correlate with agent-centered options. Based on this thesis, I explain why justifications are often coupled with options rather than duties.

A Relational Account of Legal Deontology in Kant’s Doctrine of Right
George Pavlakos, School of Law, University of Glasgow
On a popular view, Kant’s Doctrine of Right must rely on a pre-institutional notion of individual autonomy to explain the deontological character of legal rights and duties. This picture is complemented by the requirement to establish an institutional public order, with an eye to offsetting the thread of coercion that would arise from a unilateral exercise of pre-political rights. Ultimately, public or omnilateral authorisation of demands of right is not constitutive to legal rights but merely a downstream effect of pre-political entitlements.

I offer the contours of an alternative picture which casts doubt on the idea that deontological titles of right require a pre-political notion of freedom and autonomy. The proposal rests on an argument for the existence of pre-institutional legal relations, which ground deontological demands that are omnilaterally authorised in the absence of any established legal order, or some other pre-ordained legal basic structure. The argument relies in part on a reading of the Doctrine of Right which attributes explanatory priority to legal relations, as exemplified by the Universal Principle of Right, over individual autonomy, as exemplified by Innate Right. Finally, I discuss the advantages of the relational understanding of legal rights as a basis for understanding legal deontology.

Rules of Closure and Permissions
Dr. Ricardo Víctor Guarinoni, Universidad de Buenos Aires
There is an old discussion about the necessary completeness of the juridical system. Against the view of some authors like Kelsen,who believes that no gaps occur in the law, or Dworkin, who argues from an opposing position that the law always provides a solution, this paper adheres to the position of Alchourron and Bulygin, who recognize the existence of posible gaps in the system, and gives reasons for rejecting the idea that juridical systems are always complete. This leads to the consideration of rules of closure, and their requisites.
There follows an analysis of the posible expression of the rules of closure, in terms of deontic characters, concluding that the only possibility of closing a normative system is through the permission of all actions not deontically determined by the accepted norms. Any other formulation must be rejected, not only for formal but for pragmatic reasons.

Justification and Deduction
Mag. Alejandro Julian Alvarez, University of Buenos Aires.
The work is aimed at exploring and criticizing the concept of “justification” held by the "deductive conception" developed by Alchourrón and Bulygin. We can distinguish two ways of conceiving it, within the framework of the relation between the individual norm and the general norm. On the one hand, the subjective justification, that is expressed in the obligation of establishing a sentence. On the other hand, the objective justification, that is expressed in the obligation of judging. It is demonstrated that the deduction of an individual norm based on a general norm and a factual premise can be explained from both perspectives and have different consequences. It is concluded, in relation to the objective justification, that since the premises that describe facts do not belong to the legal system, it is consequently not possible to develop the valid argument that Modus Ponens states, and for that reason, affirming that the individual norm in terms of deductibility belongs to the legal system, is a misunderstanding. In relation to the subjective justification, it is supported that although the operation of deduction under a bridge structure is indeed possible, the insular structure -which does not permit such logical operation- constitutes a more adequate formulation for the legal norm. In order to maintain that, it is important to highlight the indeterminacy of the structure of the norm in regards to the logic that underlies the theory of argentine authors, Hugo R. Zuleta’s criticism in relation to the bridge conception and the coinciding arguments that John Broome exposes when he comments on the opportunity of supporting the insular conception in the presence of requirements of coherence.

Two Kinds of Justifications
Ezequiel Monti, UTDT, UPF
Distinguishing offences from justificatory defences is a complex task. The challenge is to explain how to distinguish between so called negative elements of the offence (eg, lack of consent in rape) and justifications proper (eg, self-defense, lesser evil, etc.). Many philosophers argue that justifications are exceptions to legal norms that make the putative offense all things considered permissible. This account is appealing but it is not clear what makes a certain condition an “exception” rather than just another element of the offence, maybe one that many offences share in common. To avoid this problem, some have argued that justifications do not make the action permissible. Rather, justified offences are still wrongful, but they are wrongs that the agent has undefeated reason to commit. Here I shall argue that both accounts are partially wrong and partially right. Thus, I first show that the attempts to account for all justificatory defences on only one of these models face insurmountable difficulties. Then, I go on to argue that, nonetheless, both do adequately explain some justificatory defences. Indeed, some justifications make the action permissible but not necessarily one the agent ought to do (eg, self-defence), while others do not make the action permissible but are such that the agent has undefeated reason to perform (eg, lesser evil). I provide an account of why the former (ie, permission-defences) do not collapse into negative elements of the offence (namely, they cancel the wrongfulness of the action without cancelling the reasons in virtue of which the action is ordinarily wrong), and why the latter (reasons-defences) do not collapse into excuses (although the action is still wrongful, it is not one the agent ought to refrain from doing).

Legal Duties, Rights, and Liberties
Luís Duarte de Almeida, NOVA University Lisbon, University of Edinburgh
This paper offers a non-relational framework of legal duties, rights and liberties. I first draw a distinction between two classes of statements of legal positions. One is that of statements of (what I propose to call) "discrete" legal positions: statements of the forms “A has a liberty to φ”, “A has a duty to φ”, “B has a right that A φ”. The second is that of statements of (what I propose to call) "comprehensive" legal positions: statements of the forms “A has the liberty to φ”, “A has the duty to φ”, “B has the right that A φ.” The distinction, I argue, is theoretically fruitful, and should form the basis of a framework for the analysis of fundamental legal positions. I then develop such a framework, putting together a comprehensive picture of how statements of both kinds interrelate logically—both internally to each class, and between the two classes.

Sollen and Erlauben. Permissive Norms in Hans Kelsen’s Theory
Francesca Poggi, Dipartimento di scienze giuridiche “Cesare Beccaria”, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
Abstract - Permissive norms have always been a very controversial topic within legal theory. Two are the main problems that they arise.
Firstly, is permitting a normative linguistic function? That is to say, when I permit somebody to do something, am I expressing a norm? Obviously the answer to this question depends on how one defines the notions of ‘normative function’ and ‘norm’. Usually, who denies that permitting is a normative function argues that there is not difference between permitting something and asserting that something it not prohibiting. A claim which is also very debated.
Secondly, some legal scholars, especially legal scholars aiming to modelling an ideal legal system, claim that, whether they are norms or not, permissions are not necessary to account for the functioning of the law. They are practically irrelevant.
This essay aims to examine how Hans Kelsen addresses the previous issues, by shedding light on Kelsen’s troublesome relation with permissive norms. In particular, it aims to explore the evolution of Kelsen’s theory about normative permissions. As we will see, until 1960 (the second edition of the Reine Rechslehre, henceforth ‘RR2’), Kelsen denies the admissibility, the conceivability, of permissive norms. Later, from RR2, he includes ‘permitting’ among the functions of legal norms: he expressly qualifies ‘permitting’ as a type of ought-to-be (Sollen). However, both when he denies the existence of permissive norms and when he affirms it, Kelsen's view is far from consistent.

Because “they said so"? Deliberation, Justification, and the Concept of Authority
Julieta A. Rabanos, University of Genoa, Italy
In recent decades, the concept of authority has been treated and discussed almost exclusively as a reason-based concept within a broader framework in which jurisprudence is viewed only through the lens of practical reasoning and reasons for action. My aim is to analyse the adequacy of reason-based concepts of authority -using Raz's and Finnis' proposals as representative cases-, especially in comparison to non-reason-based concepts.
I will try to show that, on the one hand, (1) reason-based concepts of authority cannot be understood as saying anything about the context of deliberation because they are based on a not fully adequate, hyper-rationalist model of human action and decision-making; they can only say something about the context of justification; (2) if they can only say something about the latter, then it follows that they do not allow for any real distinction between conformity and compliance - a supposed key distinction for the concept of authority; and consequently (3) there would be no added value for discourses on authority to use a reason-based concept instead of a non-reason-based one.
On the other hand, I will try to show that even if problems (1) to (3) could be overruled, nevertheless (4) some consequences of using reason-based concepts of authority are unfortunate, such as overlooking some aspects of law as a social phenomenon and transforming the central case of 'authority' into the case of a minority or a fiction.

The Logic of Criminal Permissions
Dr. Juan Pablo Alonso, University of Buenos Aires.
The paper tries to explain the logic of criminal permissions, both for justification and for atypicality causes. A distinction between the judge's system and the citizen's system will be made, so as to explain the different way each system logically works when it comes to permits. In general, the system of logic of standard norms of Carlos Alchourrón and Eugenio Bulygin will be used, although for one case, that of atypical behaviours in the judge's system, the logic of normative propositions will be used instead. Moreover, the logical functioning of the "Kelsen Prohibition Principle" will also be explained, according to which, everything that is not prohibited is therefore allowed.