Gerald J. Postema

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Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
Professor of Law
112A Caldwell Hall
(919) 819-0924 (phone)

Gerald J. Postema has published extensively in legal and political philosophy and ethics. On October 24, 2016 he was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Athens, Greece. Earlier (2013-14) he served as Arthur L. Goodhart Distinguished Visiting Professor of Legal Science (Cambridge University) and Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He received the George J. Johnson Prize for Distinguished Achievement in the Art and Humanities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow, Rockefeller Fellow (Bellagio), Medlin Fellow (National Humanities Center) Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies, and Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence). On February 20, 2014 he delivered the prestigious Boutwood Lecture at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He has edited the Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law and Law & Philosophy (with Michael Corrado). He has published On the Law of Nature, Reason, and the Common Law: Selected Jurisprudential Writings of Sir Matthew Hale (2017); Utility, Publicity, and Law: Bentham’s Moral and Legal Philosophy (forthcoming); Legal Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: The Common Law World (2011), Bentham and the Common Law Tradition (1986/1989). A Chinese translation of the latter appeared in 2014 and a second edition will appear 2017. He has edited Racism and the Law (1997), Rationality, Conventions, and the Law (1998), Philosophy and the Law of Torts(2001), and two volumes of critical essays on Bentham, Jeremy Bentham: Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy (2002). Currently, he is at work on a book on the rule of law.

Sample publications: “Coordination and Convention at the Foundations of Law,” Journal of Legal Studies (1982); “The Normativity of Law,” Issues in Contemporary Legal Philosophy (1987); “‘Protestant’ Interpretation and Social Practices,” Law & Philosophy (1987); “Answering Hume’s Sensible Knave,” History of Philosophy Quarterly (1988); “Bentham on the Public Character of Law,” Utilitas (1989); “Risks, Wrongs, and Responsibility,” Yale Law Journal (1993); “Public Practical Reason: An Archeology,” Social Philosophy & Policy (1995); “Integrity: Justice in Workclothes,” Iowa Law Review (1997); “Jurisprudence as Practical Philosophy,” Legal Theory (1998); “Objectivity Fit for Law,” Objectivity in Law and Morals(2000); “Classical Common Law Jurisprudence [Parts I and II],” Oxford University Journal of Commonwealth Law (2002, 2003); “Melody and Law’s Mindfulness of Time,” Ratio Juris (2004); “Politics is About the Grievance,” Legal Theory (2005); “Bentham’s Utilitarianism,” A Guide to Mill’s Utilitarianism (2006); “Interests, Universal and Particular: Bentham’s Utilitarian Theory of Value,” Utilitas (2006); “Whence Avidity? Hume’s Psychology and the Origins of Justice,” Synthese(2006); “Cemented with Diseased Qualities,” Hume Studies (2006); “A similibus ad similia: Analogical Thinking in Law,” Common Law Theory (2007)“Salience Reasoning,” Topoi, vol. 27 (2008); “Conformity, Custom and Congruence: Rethinking the Efficacy of Law” in The Legacy of Hart (2008); “Positivism and the Separation of Realists from their Skepticism: Normative Guidance, the Rule of Law, and Legal Reasoning,” in The Hart-Fuller Debate in the 21st Century (2010);  “Δίκαιο, συμϐάσεις, φιλοσοφία καί τζάζ,” [“Justice, conventions, philosophy and jazz”], a conversation with Konstantinos Papageorgiou, ΝΕΑ ΕΣΤΙΑ (2011); “Custom, Practice, and the Law,” Duke Law Review (2012); “Law’s Rule: Reflexivity, Mutual Accountability, and the Rule of Law,” in Bentham’s Theory of Law and Public Opinion, 2014; “Fidelity in Law’s Commonwealth,” in Private Law and the Rule of Law, 2014; “Law’s System: The Necessity of System in Law,” in New Zealand Law Review (2014); “Jurisprudence as a Sociable Science,” Virginia Law Review (2015); “Time in Law’s Empire” (“Czas w Imperium Prawa”) Petrazycki Lecture (Warsaw, 2015).

Curriculum Vitae


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