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A Foucauldian Interpretation of Modern LawFrom Sovereignty to Normalisation and Beyond$
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Jacopo Martire

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411929

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411929.001.0001

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A Genealogy of Modern Law I: The Political Truth of the Individual

A Genealogy of Modern Law I: The Political Truth of the Individual

(p.37) 2 A Genealogy of Modern Law I: The Political Truth of the Individual
A Foucauldian Interpretation of Modern Law

Jacopo Martire

Edinburgh University Press

In the present chapter the author develops his genealogy by taking in consideration law as a means of political legitimation. Developing his thesis that the discourse of law moved from the paradigm of the command to that of the norm, the author analyses various key scholars ranging from Aquinas to Rousseau, Kant and Hegel. By tracing the evolving meanings of generality, abstraction, equality, and freedom, he demonstrates that the discourse on the nature of law shifted from being focused on law as a metaphysical system – reflective of the paradigm of command – to the idea of law conceived as a legitimizing force only if formed by secular, socially generated rules – reflective of the paradigm of the norm. Building on his analysis, the author claims that modern law came to be structured like a (Foucauldian) norm: it is, at the same time, both the product and the ordaining principle of the rational societal order.

Keywords:   Aquinas, Hobbes, Grotius, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel

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