The Role of Law

"We come here to one of the key concepts Oakeshott's later work -- the conception which he finds pre-figured in the thought of Hobbes and Hegel, of society as a civil association -- an association among persons who, having no ends or purposes necessarily held in common, nevertheless coexist in peace under the rule of law... the [role] of law in a civil society is not that promoting general welfare or any other similar abstraction (such as fundamental rights), but rather of securing the conditions in which persons may themselves contract into mutually chosen activities." John Gray, Liberalisms, p. 207


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