The Case Of The Speluncean Explorers

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It has been said that there is no greater way to understand the law than to analyze different cases pertaining to legal philosophy and there is no better way to understand legal philosophy than to see how these different theories contradict one another. A famous legal case “the case of the Speluncean Explorers,” Harvard Law Review, 62 (4) (1948- 1949) pp.616-645, written by Lon L. Fuller describes an allegory of a group of spelunkers in the Commonwealth of Newgarth. Fuller uses various opinions written by fictional judges in order to illustrate a combination of various theories about the nature of law and legal reasoning. The purpose of this paper will thus be to critically assess and develop an argument pertaining to one of the judge’s opinions and to further explain why this judge’s decision is most persuasive. Justice Foster is said to illustrate the alter-ego role of Fuller, representing the natural school of jurisprudence. In determining whether the convictions of the murder of Roger Whetmore should be overturned, Justice Foster presents two main aggressive arguments on the basis of natural law. First, the defendants were in a state of nature at the time of the killing, and thus the laws of nature would apply to them. Second, Foster creates a compelling argument stating that although the statute could be applied to the men, the focus of the statute would not be…show more content…
Staymore where he justified that a person cannot be held guilty for anything that is beyond his own control. Laws should be constructed within a given purpose. Self-preservation is the most basic necessity of all human tendencies. In this specific self-defense pertaining case, the defendants did not purposely kill Whetmore out of mala fides, rather because they wanted to give sustenance to their bodies. Foster concludes with a strong ending stating that “if the state could sacrifice 10 lives for one, why cannot one life be sacrificed to save four?”
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