Book „Morality and the Nature of Law“ by Kenneth Himma presented in the General Seminar
A new monographic work of the visiting professor of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, Dr Kenneth Einar Himma, entitled „Morality and the Nature of Law“ (Oxford University Press, 2019) was presented within the General Seminar in Amphitheatre VIII (the courtroom) on April 11th 2019. The published work was discussed, but so was another work of the same author that is still in development, which deals with the conceptual relationship between coercion and law. The subject that got the most attention was a chapter of the new book that considers the concept of obligation.
Besides the author, professors from our Faculty, Professor Dr Miodrag Jovanović and Assistant Professor Dr Bojan Spaić, talked about the book and the concept of obligation. The discussion was moderated by Professor Dr Goran Dajović. After the author presented his understanding of the concept of (legal) obligation and its importance for considering the relationship between coercion and law, Ass. Prof. Bojan Spaić pointed out the possible problems and inconsistencies of the author’s philosophical approach (called „modest conceptual analysis“ in analytical philosophy) in considering the philosophical and legal-philosophical concept of obligation. Prof. Dr Miodrag Jovanović spoke of possible inconsistencies in any attempt to found (legal) obligations on coercion and of problems of such an approach to the concept of obligation. The commentators were concordant in their attitude that both the previous and the upcoming work of the author belong among the most important latest contributions to understanding the concept of law from the perspective of analytical philosophy.
The hosts of the General Seminar and the audience have expressed gratitude to Professor Himma for this presentation and for his, already decade-long, work with the professors and students of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law. After the presentation of the participants, a very lively discussion had developed, in which the PhD students of Theory, sociology and philosophy of law were particularly interested.