Labour, Love and Futility: Philosophical Perspectives on Labour Law

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This article considers the value of a philosophical perspective in reflecting upon some central problems in labour law. Philosophy can sharpen our understanding of values, linguistic practices and social phenomena. This is as true in labour law as in any other domain of social life. Philosophical argument can advance our understanding of the ways in which labour law is coherent as a field of regulatory activity, given the special normative importance of employment as a mode of organizing work. It also identifies the special role of corrective justice in rights-based theories of labour law, repositioning corrective justice as a central concern in the theory of labour law. Finally, the article argues against forms of methodological closure that elevate the empirical over the philosophical. The intellectual strength of a legal discipline depends upon its openness to a wide range of different methodological approaches, including philosophical argument and reflection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-37
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Labour Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


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