Normative Mystery Solving - Interview with Joseph Raz
*Interviewee Joseph Raz(1939-2022)
Jurists, political philosophers, and ethicists
Previously served as a chair professor of legal philosophy at Oxford University, a researcher at Belliol College, a visiting professor at Columbia University Law School, and a research professor at King's College London
*Interviewer Richard Marshall
Doctorate in Philosophy of Education, University of London
*Translator Ye Huicheng
Young Associate Researcher, School of Law, Fudan University
Interviewer's note: Joseph Raz is one of the "super monsters" of legal philosophy and the largest of all the monsters. He devoted his entire life to the philosophy of law, indulged in various philosophical topics, and spared no effort to solve them. The recognizability of values, reasons, and general norms, such as what respecting differences means, specifically including the dependence of values, reasons, and norms on social practice; The relationship between reason and intention, reason and rationality; The nature of intentional action; Can practicality factors serve as reasons for belief; Law and morality; Legal system; Legal theory; Authority and interpretation; The concept of 'being in the world'; And the question of 'why does a person change their perspective not matter much to themselves'.
Marshall: What made you a philosopher? (Question 1)
Raz: I wish I knew! It's like I really want to know the answers to other questions about my childhood. For example, what made me sign up for and participate in adult education courses in my hometown at the age of 14, with most of the participants being adults older than my parents, many of whom have retired. Why wasn't I scared because I was the only child there? This may be more confusing than the fact that all those courses are philosophy courses. In other words, I have been plagued since I remember this. I think it was in the second year of this activity that I went to seek advice from experts on what books to read (I should remind you that I was reading other adult books at the time: History of Economic Ideas, Military History, and so on). Through various indirect relationships, a very old gentleman invited me to meet him and asked me what books I had already read. I am very proud to tell him that I was reading Spinoza's "Ethics" at that time. He was surprised and assured me that although I was reading, I did not understand what I had read. This has dealt me a bit of a blow, but it hasn't stopped me. Of course, he was right, but knowing this did not eliminate the charm of reading for me.
I must admit that although my pursuit of juvenile philosophy did not greatly promote my understanding of philosophy, it did bring some benefits. It familiarized me with many philosophical books (Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, and others), making it easier for me to access similar and other types of books as I grew older. At the practical level, I have also benefited. I may be the only student who subscribes to the Philosophical Quarterly of Israel, and I doubt if I have understood the article I have read so diligently. When I applied to study law at the Hebrew University in due course, I made some requests to the academic secretary (academic management officer) of the university. To my surprise, he invited me to meet him. That would be during my compulsory military service, and I could only take weekends off, so he invited me to his house. Originally, he was a philosopher who taught part-time in the department and was also the executive editor in chief of the Israeli Philosophy Quarterly. Mr. Pozna (his name is Pozna, Edward Pozna) ń You can imagine how surprised I was to know that I had subscribed to his quarterly magazine for several years while I was still in school. Although I signed up to study law, he encouraged me to continue studying philosophy, saying that they needed someone in the field of legal philosophy (I have never heard of a branch of philosophy called legal philosophy). A few years later, when I graduated, he arranged for me to continue my studies in Oxford under Hart's guidance. This is all his idea. He not only helped me obtain an admission permit to Oxford University, but also helped me obtain a scholarship to support my studies there. My gratitude to him is beyond words.
Marshall: One of the points you raised (in the 2000 Healy lecture) is that we should accept the legitimacy of differences. Therefore, you believe that we can reasonably recognize mutually hostile normative practices, but this will only make one party promise to respect these two positions, rather than participating in them. Is that so? If so, does not not not participating in itself mean a lack of respect? (Question 2)
Raz: Accepting or respecting differences is a natural code of conduct. What we should respect are valuable practices, lifestyles, ideals, and desires, or contain some good and valuable practices, lifestyles, ideals, and desires, and it is precisely for this reason that we should respect these practices, lifestyles, ideals, and desires (even if our understanding of their value is very incomplete). The reason I say that is because pure gold is rarely found in human affairs. Our lives are made of alloys with mixed quality elements, some of which are of poor quality and even have serious defects. Valuable human practices often contain biases or superstitions, which perpetuate some objectionable discrimination or exclusion. It can be said that this is life, and what I mean is not that we should be complacent about these inadequate aspects of our own or others' behavior. On the contrary, I suggest that not only should we not be complacent, but we should also strive to identify unethical aspects of our own and others' behavior, maintain distance from them, and strive to correct them.
Therefore, one of the very important reasons for understanding and treating practices that we unintentionally agree with fairly is that understanding them is almost a prerequisite for understanding ourselves and the various practices we participate in. Recognizing the value of lifestyle that we are unfamiliar with or out of place with can improve our humanity and protect us from complacency and stubbornness. Our understanding and respect for the behavior of others also create opportunities for change, allowing us to interact with people who seem strange or worse, and possibly discover that we can develop an interest in practices that initially do not align with us - this is the second main reason to seek understanding and respect the value of those practices. I'm not saying that we should always seek new friends, or constantly seek to change our activities and tastes. I'm just saying that having this choice is a good thing, and if this choice is to become a reality, part of it requires us to understand what it means to accept it.
In the previous comments, I emphasized the barriers between people and the sometimes accompanying hostility, which is caused by ignorance. This ignorance leads to a narrow and misleading understanding of various activities and practices that help humanity achieve and improve our quality of life. I also hinted that not being aware of the shortcomings in our own approach is likely to fuel this hostility. Obviously, flawless practices do not generate hostility towards the good in other practices, even if they are not compatible, as one cannot fully participate in these two practices. This incompatibility forces us to make choices, but it is no different from other choices that the environment forces us to make: my employer may require me to live within a certain distance of the workplace and not work for competitors. When certain practices directly conflict with other practices, it is usually because they hold inconsistent beliefs (those who agree with them). Therefore, at least one of the practices is based on incorrect beliefs, which is one of its drawbacks.
Usually, there is no hostility between practice and practice, but rather between those who participate in practice. Perhaps due to our inevitable psychological factors, this is the case when certain qualities that are highly valued by practice itself may be detrimental to participating in other practices. Some practices require quick and decisive reactions, while others value slow reactions, and so on. People attach great importance to certain spiritual, physical, or emotional qualities in their daily lives. They often look down on those who lack these qualities and activities that belittle them, which is "very natural". My previous view was to provide a correction, which is to provide a way of understanding that others have their own way of living a meaningful life. This may not be enough to eliminate the hostile views and attitudes fostered by these incompatibilities, but they should be enough for us to contain them and prevent them from triggering unjustified actions.
So far, I have not considered your view that not participating in itself may imply a lack of respect. I try to attribute the lack of respect (when respect is worth it) to other factors. I don't understand how a lack of participation indicates or constitutes a lack of respect. Consider the situations in which people make choices, such as choosing friends, profession, entertainment, place of residence, and so on. If one believes that among all these choices, the rejected option is objectively inferior, then one is wrong. Perhaps some of them do. But other options are equally valuable, but not for me: my legs are stronger and my arms are weaker, which makes some exercises more attractive to me than others. Do I have to think that the exercise I haven't chosen is inferior? Some professions require one person to continuously make decisions alone, at least those that are relatively important. Other professions, on the other hand, rely more on teamwork and collective decision-making. I feel anxious when I shoulder responsibility without the opportunity to consult others. Do I have to believe that jobs that require independent decision-making are inferior and not just unsuitable for me? Or do I have to believe that the better choice for others is the worse choice for me, which is why that job is the best for them? Not all non participation is the same. But we are already aware that the value reflected by an option or practice (objectively speaking) is not the same as the opportunity for us to benefit from participation or respond emotionally, be attracted, or be ignored (although it has recognized advantages).
Marshall: Although you advocate for the legitimacy of differences, you also believe that values are universal, and the resources you use to prove this viewpoint are the concept of "partiality" and the social dependence of certain values. Do you think that in order for a specification to be universal, it must be intelligible in terms of properties, which can be determined without specific reference and can be exemplified at any place and time. Can you outline the reasons for your conclusion that value is both recognizable and universal? (Question 3)
Raz: It's best to start with the recognizability of values, reasons, and general norms, because only by understanding this can we understand the remaining main content. The so-called recognizable is something that can be understood by us. If something is recognizable to you, then you can understand it. But this is a special understanding. Understanding usually includes knowing why something is understood as it is, as well as the ability to infer more truth about it and its background using such knowledge. The recognizability of normative things includes this and more. It is difficult or even impossible to directly explain to those who do not understand the experience in a literal sense, so that they can clearly understand why a specific value is a value or why a specific reason is a reason. It's like explaining what it means to see - ultimately, you have to expect the person you explain to to have vision, and then you just point to it - that's the experience I'm talking about.
Therefore, we explain a normative concept, such as virtues of integrity or generosity, the value of good art, friendship, or well-being, partly by linking them to other values, virtues, etc., and partly by hoping that the other party understands some of these values, virtues, etc. Through imaginative thinking, they can see similarities between what they understand and what they have not yet understood, In this way, they can understand the significance and advantages of values and virtues that they have not yet understood.
If you agree that the way we gain understanding is like this, you will agree that it is obtained through the mastery of concepts that can be applied to various instances in principle, and their application points to similarity. Understanding similarity can enhance our understanding. The application of these concepts may be subject to special limitations: they may only apply to instances that occur today or only to me, and so on. But unless it is an instance of a more general concept that lacks special limitations, such limitations will be incomprehensible and unrecognizable. That's why epistemology necessarily requires universality, at least in its ultimate sense.
Why assume that value and normative reasons are recognizable? Perhaps it would be helpful to put it another way: why assume that only recognizable things are valuable? The simple version of the answer is this: because value needs to be used, mentioned, and cited in order to explain - explaining goals and desires, actions and intentions, and explaining more through them. Furthermore, the explanation we are referring to here is a special one. People's actions and desires are triggered by many factors, usually factors that the actor hardly knows or understands. Needless to say, we can use these motivations to explain people's actions and desires. But the explanation we are talking about is not like this. They explain actions or desires by tracking the perspective of the actors who possess them. The way actors view things makes them meaningful and, as they see it, gives value to actions or desires they pursue. They explain through factors that actors believe can be recognized, enabling them to draw conclusions that the action or desire is valuable. To prove this claim, more is needed, and I have only outlined a train of thought here. This proposition holds that all values can be reflected in such interpretations, and therefore they are recognizable. No matter how you view this proposition, the debate about it should not degenerate into a verbal dispute. It is not important whether the expression of 'value' or 'valuable' always refers to the characteristics that can be reflected in this interpretation. Importantly, an important aspect of our lives, that is, the proactive aspects of our lives - we have desires, pursue goals, form intentions, and take action to achieve them - are controlled through the search for and response to certain factors that will give value to our participation in the world and our lives. Like many others, I use 'values' and' normative reasons' to illustrate the nature of this aspect of our lives and the various aspects that give us a world of this kind of life.
A common objection to the proposition of universality of values is that it makes special attachments to people, groups, systems, objects, etc. untenable, or even irrational. As you mentioned in the question, I pointed out that the way value is instantiated is historical, allowing for unique characteristics to be obtained in the lives of a group, system, or individual, even if these characteristics are instances of a universal value. This explains why the universality and special relationships and dependencies of value are compatible.
Marshall: Why do you think we can talk about evaluative knowledge? In a certain field, if we cannot talk about mistakes, we cannot talk about knowledge. If the belief in value depends on social practice rather than value itself, whether value is knowledge will become a question. So, how did you respond to this challenge? Is it a challenge of skepticism or an anti realism challenge? (Question 4)
Raz: At least some of the values depend on social practice, and I believe this is beyond doubt. The challenge lies in whether there are some values that do not depend on social practice, and what kind of dependency relationships exist. Why does this dependency exist? What can it tell us about the essence of value? I am already trying to solve these problems; Here, let me briefly and informally present some basic ideas and how they relate to the possibilities of knowledge.
We can at least say that it seems that all cultural products are dependent on society. I refer to all valuable relationships, connections, dependencies, and forms of activity, which are composed of standards that can only be sustained in the long term through social practice. Usually, these are not independent, single standards or forms of activity, but rather interconnected whole networks, such as all family relationships and interactions, as well as their rituals, complex patterns of mutual expectations, binding requirements and obligations in terms of norms, such as privacy standards within the family, and behavioral norms and expectations compared to strangers, It allows for greater interference in each other's affairs in certain situations, and also allows for greater distance between each other in other situations.
In other words, most of the things we and others care about are made up of social products. They include all artistic activities and products, all activities, relationships, and opportunities, which are partially composed of social and sometimes institutional standards, such as dance, sports activities, public organizations and their participation, including political structures for governance and participation, and more. What's important (but not related to answering your question) is that many (if not all) valuable activities, interactions, participation, identification, and other forms that rely on society have their own unique and outstanding forms. (This is not related to your question either) Are these products created by social practice or are they only provided to people through the support of social practice? Importantly, the social dependence I am discussing is an accessibility: this is because the ability to be in a relationship (regardless of the relationship), participate in any movement (even if it is just a bystander), or appreciate any artwork or performance, etc., largely depends on their understanding, that is, understanding their composition, understanding what they are, and this understanding is necessary for participation, Of course, it is also necessary to enjoy participation or benefit from it. Moreover, this understanding is inevitably obtained through familiarity with the practices that support relevant cultural products. Easy to understand explanations can be helpful, but they cannot replace familiarity with practice, as cultural products are too rich and complex to be understood solely through easy to understand explanations.
Therefore, social dependence is not related to the good or bad that constitutes a relationship, pursuit, or activity (because bad relationships, etc., are also composed of society). Dependency lies in the ability to obtain these products. It explains why different products provide materials for life in different societies and eras. It once again explains how misunderstandings and hostility arise through ignorance of the availability conditions of products and the potential diversity of product forms. Understanding the social dependence of product accessibility helps us understand the essence of value. But it cannot determine this understanding. Of course, it does not answer the question of our ability to understand value. But it means that the possibility of knowledge is not threatened by the social dependence of value.
Marshall: Throughout your entire work, you have demonstrated that these normative reasons play an important role in our psychological state - they are things that can be explained in the following way: the audience's understanding of what they perceive as their reasons. When they are explained in this way, people will own them for this reason. Subsequently, these normative reasons explain actions, beliefs, and intentions. Am I right? Do you think that the conclusions you draw about normative reasons starting from actions, beliefs, and intentions would be different from those you draw from other sources, such as the role of emotions? (Question 5)
Raz: In some of my earlier responses, I have acknowledged adopting a similar approach. But obviously, the direct answer to your question is that this method should not affect the conclusion. The explanation I have proposed applies to many issues: the interpretation of value, the nature of normative reasons, the relationship between reasons and intentions, the relationship between reasons and rationality, and the nature of intentional actions. Each explanation can receive a separate defense, although they complement each other. These explanations should be improved, and explanations for other issues should be consistent with the provided explanations before the latter can be considered reliable. But in principle, it doesn't matter where you start or in what order you proceed. The conclusion should be the same.
However, I hope that there are some inspiring things in the methods I have adopted. I hope I have successfully pointed out that the central case of intentional action is taken for normative reasons (perceived by the actor). If the value of these actions is the direct reason for taking them, and the value of other things to some extent affects the value of these actions, and if all of these point to the essence of value, then two broad and credible conclusions can be drawn: one is that some actions have value while others have no value, and some actions are more valuable than others because if no action has value, So all intentional actions and all plans to implement them are based on a wrong foundation, and such mistakes are actually impossible to occur. Another is that the explanation of normative reasons and values does not seek some mysterious existence. This is only a part of explaining intentional actions, although not just that. We all believe that it is possible to explain intentional actions. I think these ideas will help to correct our research, although they may lower some expectations, they will also eliminate some so-called obstacles that hinder progress.
Marshall: Why do you think pragmatic factors cannot be used as a reason for belief? Is this related to your 'no gap' proposition? (Question 6)
Raz: In my opinion, this is a confusing question. On the one hand, believing that something is true means believing that the world is true, and the facts that indicate that the world is true are the reasons for this belief, and those facts confirm this belief. On the other hand, believing that something can alleviate anxiety is a good thing, but this fact has nothing to do with proving the truth of this belief. It is best not to worry when other conditions are the same. Some people may say that getting rid of anxiety is only good when it is caused by incorrect beliefs or at least unfounded beliefs. In some cases, these arguments are valid. But in many cases, having a certain belief can indeed bring benefits, regardless of whether the belief is true or not. Doesn't this mean there are some belief reasons that are unrelated to truth? It does exist. The problem is, we cannot form a belief based on these reasons. People with beliefs have some understanding of what faith is, although these understandings are incomplete and unclear. They know that beliefs are different from fantasies, daydreams, assumptions, and so on. The difference is that unlike other ideas, beliefs respond to the standards of truth. That is to say, although there is nothing wrong with imagining oneself flying in the sky, even when faced with evidence of not flying, people have no reason to give up this imagination. However, if there is evidence that a person cannot fly, they cannot believe that they can fly. A person can daydream, fantasize, and so on, but cannot believe that they are true. Therefore, in some cases, believing that a person is flying is a reason for having this belief, but this reason cannot reasonably sustain this belief.
What should I do in the face of this confusion? Firstly, we can try to distinguish between two reasons. One is practical reasons that prove holding a certain belief is beneficial, and the other is epistemic reasons that support the belief as true. Based on the essence of this distinction and belief, we can observe that practical reasons cannot guide us to have a certain belief (although they can make us try to influence our environment so that we have this belief). In this sense, we cannot derive this belief from them (if I believe that I am smart, so I am smart, and I am happy about it). Recognizing reasons (assuming they are powerful and sufficient in the circumstances at the time), once recognized, will guide us to possess this belief based on their justification (this is the seamless proposition you mentioned).
But didn't I admit that practical reasons can lead to beliefs, no matter how irrational? If these are all good practical reasons, why care about whether a person's beliefs are rational or irrational? Indeed, practical reasons can give people beliefs, and if they are valid and sufficient reasons, this may be a good thing, even if a person's beliefs or the process of acquiring such beliefs are irrational (sometimes irrational, but not always). The difference lies in the way rationality guides people to acquire or possess beliefs. All the reasons can explain what they are. Understanding reasons can serve as a normative explanation for the reasons for possessing a certain belief, that is, we can derive a belief from the premise formed by these reasons. Similarly, practical reasons for possessing a certain belief can be seen as normative reasons for taking certain actions, that is, taking actions to create an environment in which a person will possess or maintain this belief. According to the actual situation, they may also explain why a person has this belief, but this is not a normative explanation, but a common causal explanation. A person may develop a belief because practical reasons can lead to self deception, leading them to believe that this belief has cognitive reasons, leading them to possess this belief. In this case, although the fact of explaining beliefs is a practical reason, this explanation is causal rather than normative. During the process of completing the explanation, more complex situations may arise. But I hope its essence is clear.
The commonality of all normative reasons is that they are facts, and the understanding of these facts can guide people to respond in a certain way (forming or maintaining beliefs, actions, or emotions, etc.) because people (using their rational power) recognize that this response is appropriate for this situation (appropriate) because these reasons are part of this situation. My explanation of this is precisely through careful consideration and reasoning that I realized that this answer was appropriate. But sometimes, when a person has mastered what kind of response is appropriate, there is no need for reasoning. Reason is the fact that makes the response appropriate, practical reason is the fact that action may ensure or maintain good, and cognitive reason is the fact that belief may be true. Please note that recognizing reasons does not necessarily indicate that having such beliefs is good. This requires practical reasons. Therefore, if a person does not bother to form a belief in a specific problem, even if they can easily find the cognitive reasons for this belief, they may not have made any mistakes. There may be no practical reason why he should believe this or what he should believe. However, if a person realizes that these facts are cognitive reasons and that they are powerful reasons, as long as their rational abilities are not flawed, they will form this belief. This is the seamless proposition.
The commonality of all normative reasons is that they can all play a role in the normative interpretation of a person's response (beliefs, actions, intentions, emotions) to their situation. But the possible scenario is that they do not play a role in normative interpretation, but rather in non normative interpretation, acting as causal factors in causing a person to respond in a certain way: a causal factor does not have a normative impact on a person, that is, it is not through the use of a person's rational power to recognize that a response is appropriate, but through other causal pathways.
Marshall: You have a unique perspective on law: you say that law necessarily acknowledges that its use of power responds to moral standards and claims to reconcile power and morality, even if it may not be true to its name. But you don't think that law fundamentally elevates the duality of morality and power: you think that doing so is an accidental event, depending on the actual political reality of the society to which this law belongs. Can you talk about this? Why is this an important distinction? (Question 7)
Raz: Of course, there's nothing special about the idea that the law responds to morality. We, as well as our practices and systems, are like this. This is more about expressing what morality is or the meaning of "morality" I use in my own works, rather than expressing what law is (although it is still the case - I will return to this topic later). Some people believe that morality is a unified system of principles, and unlike them, I am someone who denies the existence of a moral system, but believes that there are some considerations that apply to us, some of which are fundamental, non derivative, and cannot be further evaluated (good/bad, desirable/undesirable). In this context, I find that further dividing moral considerations from other considerations is theoretically meaningless. As you can see above, when I write about normativity, I do not mention morality, but rather write it in general terms as values and normative reasons. When writing about law, my usual approach is to discuss law and morality (using the term 'morality'), but in reality, what I am saying is that, like all people, practices, systems, etc., law can be evaluated at a normative level. Needless to say, the challenge is to determine which normative considerations are relevant to evaluation and which are not.
The proposition you are asking is that the law (personifies this system) acknowledges that it is subject to moral standards and almost universally claims that it meets them to at least some extent. I propose this proposition based on the normative (usually moral) language consistently used in the legal system. When we act intentionally, this claim is not a minimum suggestion, meaning that there are some good reasons for taking this action (even when we act in a weak willed situation, we also imply this, although we believe that the reasons for our action are not invincible). We can say that even the bandits who occupy and rule a village through force and intimidation imply that they have good reasons to carry out their actions. But they may believe that these reasons are not related to the interests of the villagers, nor are they reasons for the villagers to obey them. The legal system and the laws that rely on them act for reasons they believe are good for their governed, and therefore believe that their governed should abide by their "laws" and decisions. A system without such claims is not a legal system.
This is mainly not a view on the meaning of terms such as "legal system" and "legal system", but rather a view on a type of social system, of which law is one. It reflects the view that the system that makes this claim has some important things (of course, there are many other systems that also make this claim). They can become a framework for cooperation, a focal point of unity, and an element that constitutes a society or organization, where the governed are loyal to the society or organization and consider themselves members rather than just the governed.
There are two points to note here: firstly, the claim of the legal system is not that their actions are based on the interests of the governed. The claim of the legal system is that their actions are based on reasons applicable to the governed. Therefore, for example, government foreign aid does not need to be based on claims of serving the interests of the governed. It can be based on the moral obligation of the patient to help others. Of course, this also means that the law can consider the interests of all those under treatment, as everyone has moral reasons to act for the benefit of everyone. Secondly, the claim made by the law does not mean that it is perfect and does not require improvement. On the contrary, it means that everyone has a reason to obey the law, because compared to disobedience, obedience will better comply with the reasons applicable to oneself. My explanation of the relationship between legitimate authority and its subjects is that it sees it as a symbol of authority. Therefore, what I mean is that the law claims moral authority over its subjects, so even if the law is imperfect, they should still be obeyed.
But the law may not meet this standard, so it may not have legitimate authority. I think this lack of possession is a matter of degree. The law may have more or less authority, and when the law does not have the authority it claims, it does not mean that it does not have any authority. It's just less than it claims. Some people believe that a system that meets all the conditions I have described here and elsewhere to become a legal system cannot fail to have legitimate authority over its subjects. I think this is a moral mistake, an interesting and worth exploring mistake. Does the common meaning of the term "law" or "legal system" mean that regardless of the content of the law, there is an obligation to obey the law; In other words, regardless of the content of the law, there is a preliminary obligation to obey the law, regardless of its content. This question is philosophically uninteresting. I believe that in the legal context, sometimes we use 'law' to imply this obligation, while sometimes it is not. And this may become an uninteresting debate over words. Importantly, some systems are very similar to legal systems, but legal systems have legitimate authority that they do not have. This difference is important because it helps us form a moral attitude towards the political system, whether it belongs to our political system or not.
These issues are not more complex than those you mentioned in the previous questions. But I have been thinking more about these issues for many years. Perhaps it is because of this that I am more acutely aware of how rough and incomplete my answer here is. But like all other answers, it can serve as a guide.
Marshall: What do you mean when you say that legal theory (to some extent) is about legal actors understanding themselves and their ways of action? What alternative paths are excluded from your path? (Question 8)
Raz: This is important because many people use the theories and explanations provided by physics and biological sciences as examples of good explanations. These phenomena of scientific research, such as elementary particles, have no understanding or understanding of the theories and explanations of researchers' actions. When you study humans, or more precisely, when we study how humans exist and how they behave when using abilities that involve human rational forces, the situation is different. It goes without saying that people can understand and understand these explanations and theories, and adjust their actions based on these explanations. For example, they can adjust their actions to make incorrect explanations correct, which can occur under the influence of psychological cues, which are known to have a strong placebo effect. Economists often fail to notice that companies in countries such as the United States act according to economic theory predictions, while many companies in developing countries do not. This is not because the former is rational while the latter is not entirely rational. In reality, more business managers in the United States have entered business schools, following the theories taught to them by business schools, and therefore tend to verify these theories.
Let's broaden our perspective a bit: people may think that the task of explanation is to explain what exists, but it does not change it. When dealing with human actions, desires, emotions, and other issues, explanation includes allowing readers to understand how the person whose actions are being explained views things. But these people are us, all of us. Therefore, if the explanation is successful, it will improve our self understanding. This itself is a change, and our hopes, desires, feelings, and actions will also change accordingly. In fact, these changes are likely brought about by learning theoretical explanations in our lives, whether this learning is perfect or imperfect - with errors and misunderstandings, and whether these explanations are successful or not. For example, learning these theories may change the reality they explain to conform to the theory itself, thereby turning incorrect theories into correct ones.
In short, interpretive research on humans and their various aspects of life is both a process of self understanding and an inevitable (and often unconscious) process of bringing about change. I hope this proves my point: at least to some extent, a life that has been scrutinized is better than a life that has not been scrutinized.
Marshall: You think that the content of law may lack moral considerations and therefore may be evil, but given that it imposes and enforces obligations on people, legal discourse is moral discourse. Why wouldn't this become a problem? (Question 9)
Raz: I'm not sure if this will become a problem. However, it seems to advocate for some erroneous views. It advocates the view that there are different types of unrelated and incomparable obligations Rights and so on: Legal rights and moral rights are in different meanings 'Rights'. I tend to believe that normative terms have the same meaning in most uses, which requires an explanation of why they do not appear to have the same meaning. For example, how can a person correctly say that they have legal rights, even if they do not have moral rights, making it unethical to have that legal right? If normative terms are used in the same way in different normative fields, then their use And the fields delineated by their use must be interrelated. Even if there are conflicts, they are interrelated. Most of the content I wrote in response to your previous question (except for the rest) was to provide assistance with these explanations.
Marshall: How do you explain the bootstrapping problem - how could a person or system say so, creating obligations and rights? (Question 10)
Raz: If your meaning is' How could obligations and rights arise solely from one person saying that? ', the answer is no. When people or institutions can impose obligations or empower people through their own words, this is because normative considerations independent of these actions give them the power to do so. The most common reason is that if they or others can impose obligations and empower them, it is beneficial for them. I mentioned an example of this reasoning earlier: when the conditions of legitimacy are met, the legal system (typically imposing obligations and granting rights) becomes part of the framework of organizational social existence in a political sense, which can promote unity, respect and support among each other. Its existence has great benefits for people, most directly for the members of these societies, so everyone has reason to support the emergence and existence of these systems. That's why they have normative power to impose obligations and empower through their own words. The interpretation of the power to make commitments, establish relationships, etc. may vary, but they are all unified in the following aspects: they all point to independent normative considerations, which confirm people's right to change normative situations through actions aimed at changing them.
Marshall: Some people believe that in interpretive reasoning, the distinction between law application and law creation has become blurred, and the issue of interpretation is a key issue that has led to disagreements among many legal philosophers. So the debate between Ronald Dworkin and HLA Hart is about this issue, isn't it? How do you respond to this argument? (Question 11)
Raz: First of all, I want to say that these questions were raised by Dworkin, who criticized Hart's theory with these questions. Due to the complexity of these questions, I avoided them in my previous answers and will not discuss them here. Indeed, Dworkin linked them to his discourse on interpretation, but I believe it is best to study them separately from Dworkin's discourse. In other words, I believe that an appropriate exploration of the nature of interpretation does not necessarily require examining Dworkin's views. However, I agree that legal interpretation may blur the distinction between legal application and legal creation.
However, it should be noted that there are issues with the application of this distinction and there is no need to consider the issue of interpretation. Anyone who has a slight understanding of English common law or any common law legal system, or even any legal system that sets precedents for certain court decisions, knows that courts with the power to set precedents apply and create laws. Having the power to establish precedents means that (a) a court's judgment is not only binding on the litigants in court, but also at least binding on some future courts and those legally bound by its judgment; (b) These judgments, even if incorrect, have strong binding force, at least in some cases. Therefore, if a court's decision is a binding precedent, it may be creating a new legal rule, even if it is bound by obligations and even if it makes every effort not to do so. Because even if it only attempts to apply the law as it is, if it makes a mistake in the law, its judgment will still be binding, even if the rules it sets forth are not binding until they are clarified.
Therefore, to determine whether a precedent setting court decision has enacted a new law, it is necessary to determine whether its statement of existing law is correct. This task may not be easy. In addition, statements that originally only restated existing laws may be partially correct and partially incorrect. Therefore, the precedent section restates and strengthens existing laws, and partially creates new laws - making the task of distinguishing between what is applicable to law and what is created by law in judgments more complex.
In actual legal practice, there are many other factors that make this task complex, and we will not discuss them here. When the court attempts not to enact new laws, and when the court has an obligation not to enact new laws, the court still formulates new laws through the principle of precedent. I want to focus on this most basic situation because it contains an important theoretical lesson: even in such simple situations, sometimes it may be extremely difficult to figure out what is new and what is restated in court judgments, It may even be a task that cannot be fully successfully achieved (that is, it may be theoretically impossible to divide all parts of the judgment into applicable or created parts), and this difficulty does not raise doubts about the distinction between legal creation and legal application, as well as its necessary application in judicial proceedings (in the case we are considering). It neither makes people doubt the distinction itself nor its application, because only by using this distinction can we say that (a) the court has an obligation to only apply the law, (b) the court only attempts to apply the law, and (c) the principle of precedent means that even if the judgment wrongly applies the law, it remains binding. The last sentence means that since the judgment is binding even without applicable law, it has enacted new laws. There is a material that is formed by the fusion of two alloys in an irreversible process, so that people cannot say which part of the material is which alloy. This does not doubt the fact that there are two different alloys in the mixture. The law is a similar situation.
The argument I presented did not mention the concept of interpretation at all, just to demonstrate how your question does not rely on any profound, mysterious, or controversial aspects of interpretation or legal interpretation. But I have no intention of denying that the court's reasoning about the law, which legal conclusions are recognized, which judgments are made (and other aspects of their reasoning) are interpretive. Why is this? What do we mean by saying that?
Generally speaking, interpretation is an explanation. To some extent, even the interpretation provided by professional interpreters, such as on-site translation of speeches, can be said to explain the translated content to the minimum extent by displaying or stating its meaning. Similarly, interpretation through performance (drama or music) also includes an explanation, as it displays the meaning of the content being explained. As you can see, I think explanation is an explanation of the meaning of something: text, action, intention, etc. The term 'meaning' used here is a general meaning in a broad sense, not limited to semantic meaning. Here, we will not discuss the meaning of 'meaning'. It does not provide a simple and clear clue to the essence of explanation, as we need to directly or indirectly refer to the explanation when explaining what has meaning and what it means (regardless of what is stated in the explanation). For our purposes, it is sufficient to link interpretation with the explanation of meaning, and to place interpretation primarily in the interpretation of human intentions, desires, emotions, and actions, as well as the products of human activities and practices. The reason why explanation becomes a special kind of explanation is because it is related to people's experiences and actions - as well as the problem characteristics of this explanation that I discussed in answering question 8 earlier - and the fact that many of the objects of explanation are cultural products, as well as their unique characteristics, some of which have already been discussed in my answer to question 4. Nowadays, the hallmark of cultural products is that their meaning is separated from the intention of the creators, even if they were intentionally created by someone, which allows us to interpret the works created by authors who are unaware of Marxist interpretation, and so on. This also explains why meaning changes with history. Rather than saying that meaning has disappeared (although they are often forgotten), it is better to say that new meaning has been added because the work means new and different things to different people, usually obtained by familiarizing oneself with past interpretations of it. As you can infer from these comments, there are multiple acceptable, good, and although incompatible explanations, which is a core and fundamental feature of interpretive explanations. A common misconception is that the above phenomenon establishes interpretive pluralism, indicating that there are no objective standards for the correctness or acceptability of explanations. These phenomena do not indicate this. They only indicate that there is both diversity and historical development not only in good explanations, but also in the standards that make explanations good or acceptable. These standards may be historical, social, and dependent, but they are objective, independent of the interpreter's wishes, and guide interpretation and acceptance of interpretation.
Undoubtedly, the pluralism of interpretation means that preserving and reiterating the known meaning of the explained object is only one of the criteria for the correctness of interpretation. Therefore, we have mixed the application, reiteration, strengthening of existing meanings, and moving towards new meanings. Explanation can be conservative or creative, and almost always a mixture of the two. Therefore, distinguishing between what is creative and what is conservative in any specific explanation is often impossible and meaningless.
The mixture of these elements: continuity and change, diversity achieved by referencing common interests (sometimes loyal objects), points to the way in which explanations operate in our lives. They are crucial for consolidating elements of culture, institutions, and standards, as well as the potential for creativity, development, and improvement. Our connection to common history, our connection to common heritage such as cuisine, architecture, handicrafts, professional and leisure activities, art and literature, has united us. These legacies shape our imagination, providing us with memories of odors, colors, and response patterns, as well as mutual expectations, enabling us to understand each other and paving the way for personal development and creativity in a common bond, which is the development of individuality. Personality can help others understand oneself because its foundation lies in a common culture, and this personality can become more free and rich due to its richness. The interpretation of cultural products, history, and psychology is crucial for these processes precisely because they blend preservation and change, diversity, and a common core, common object of interpretation.
Marshall: Can you talk about how important "Being in the World" is in thinking about norms and responsibility? When using this term, do you intentionally want us to associate your thoughts with other philosophers? (Question 12)
Raz: At least so far, it contains more content than I know. I use this expression to indicate that what we are, who we are, and what kind of life we live depend on how we live in this world, which is not just (not mainly) a matter of our inner life, spiritual life, or attitude. It goes further, involving the conditions that shape our spiritual life and attitudes. Perhaps some ideas that vaguely exist in my mind can be expressed in the following ways (I'm afraid I might actually make things worse). Many of the problems that have troubled me over the years can be seen as different aspects of normative interpretation. I think its explanation lies in explaining the three aspects of reality and its interaction: how we pursue various purposes in our actions (simple, such as drinking water from the cup in front of me; complex, such as hosting parties and enforcing laws, whose purposes are often nested within other purposes, including our own or shared with others). In the process of adopting goals, how are we guided by our own feelings that these goals are to be adopted, recognizing that they are not just a whim or a product of a causal process that is opaque to us, but rather that adopting them is understandable to us as a response to the state of things in the world, and their adoption and pursuit are wise and even necessary Required. Of course, there is also a question of what in the world can make the adoption and pursuit of certain purposes meaningful or necessary.
All of these are very old topics. But many discussions about normativity involve the content of normative phenomena: what we should pursue, how strongly we are called upon to pursue this or that purpose, what constitutes a common purpose, how they relate to individual psychology, and so on. All of these are important questions, but ultimately we can only understand these questions when we understand the way we live in this world, how things exist, and the relationship between the motivations to leave them, even preserve them, or change them. These more fundamental issues are also in intense debate. A more influential area of their debate involves the correctness and dilemma of expressivism. The word itself implies some limitations of this path - it tells us that understanding how things exist in the world is not a particular problem. What we need is an understanding of our attitude, which enables us to respond to the world as if it has characteristics that it does not actually have. This is clearly a tendentious characteristic of the expressionist path. However, when presenting the problem we are dealing with, there is no path that can remain neutral. Here, my description of this path only indicates that it is an alternative solution with different focuses, and this difference will disqualify it from belonging to the expressionist family. My path speculation is that the explanation of normativity is also the explanation of the possibility of normative action, which must involve paying attention to the ways we live in this world. These ways, when explaining our relationship with this world, will bring inspiration to both the world and us.
Marshall: When you were a philosopher, did you change your views on some fundamental issues of your philosophical stance? Or is it more like a process of deepening and further discovering within a fairly fixed ideological framework? (Question 13)
Raz: This problem is very difficult for me, for many reasons. One reason is that I am not very interested in this issue, and perhaps part of the result is that I am often surprised when people point out what I have written about certain viewpoints in the past few years with real citations. When faced with previous works, one way I sometimes feel surprised is that I clearly remember feeling hesitant about this or that issue, just wanting to express a partial or temporary viewpoint. You see, I didn't write this way. I sound very confident. Have I changed my perspective, or am I the kind of person who sounds confident but is not actually? However, there are other difficulties in answering this question.
Sometimes, the deepening of a viewpoint may go deep enough to change its nature without changing its wording. Since my student days, I have been interested in the social nature of law. Recently, I have written some articles on the social nature of general values, the different characteristics of these two forms of social dependence, and the ways in which they are interdependent. The result is that once my old views on the social nature of law are embedded in a broader context, I find that although the old views have not changed, they may have acquired different meanings. There is still a lot to say, but apart from myself, others may not be interested in it. Similar changes may have affected my other views.