Spatial Aspects of Moral Judgements in Lawyers’ Heaven, Peoples’ Earth and Malefactors’ Hell: Leibniz, the Austro-Marxists and Durkheim’s Alleged ‘Disintegration’ Thesis

Mate Pasky


Ever since antiquity, lawyers and philosophers have essentially been divided over whether they should keep law, morality and politics separate, or whether the need for their unity is more compelling. In the wake of countless bloody conflicts worldwide, the durability and resilience of this discourse on laws and morals is at once both impressive and sad. The aim of this paper is to show that individual moral deliberation is essentially local and cannot be dissociated from the spatial-communitarian context – neither by describing society as if it were the City of God (Leibniz), nor by demanding that collective spatial contexts should be deliberately ignored in favour of de-territorialized minority rights (Renner and Bauer), nor by criticizing the ‘disintegration’ thesis which seeks to justify a rights-based Republican vision of society (Hart). It probably goes without saying that recognizing the relevance and importance of the spatial character of our individual normative (legal, moral, religious) judgements in no way implies that legal, moral or political theory-based suggestions, explanations and statements about our societies are either impossible or wrong. The argument tries rather to show that outcome of moral judgments is influenced by the context, therefore a good theory of moral judgement should refer to the spatial contexts as well.


Keywords: Spatiality – Leibniz - Austro-Marxism – Multiculturalism – Deterritorialisation - Disintegration thesis.

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