The Inevitability of Conscience: A Response to My Critics


Many authors, I suspect, share my perception that they do not know their own book until they see the responses it provokes. Only then does it become clear what themes in the book matter, what is controversial, and, of course, what is mistaken, confusing, or self-contradictory. For that reason, I am particularly grateful for the careful readings and thoughtful criticisms of Legal Ethics and Human Dignity1 by scholars whose own work I greatly admire. In addition, each of them has written an essay worth reading for its own ideas, apart from what they have to say about my book. Several themes recur among my critics. Professor Norman Spaulding and Professor W. Bradley Wendel believe that the fact of moral pluralism poses a deep and possibly fatal objection to my “morally activist” view that lawyers are morally accountable for what they do on behalf of clients and what outcomes they further.2 (Although the problem of pluralism is not the principal focus of Professor Katherine Kruse’s essay, she has elsewhere criticized me on similar grounds and raises the critique briefly here.)3 Professor William Simon, Spaulding, and Wendel also criticize the preeminence I give to lawyers’ consciences over the guiding values of the institutions in which lawyers work—the adversary system (Spaulding),4 the legal and political system more generally (Wendel),5 or the organizational settings of law

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@inproceedings{Luban2008TheIO, title={The Inevitability of Conscience: A Response to My Critics}, author={David Luban}, year={2008} }