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Mercy, Particularity, and the Map from the Void

Jason A. Beckett
ARSP: Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie / Archives for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy
Vol. 93, No. 2 (2007), pp. 217-235
Published by: Franz Steiner Verlag
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23680831
Page Count: 19
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Mercy, Particularity, and the Map from the Void
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Abstract

There is a long and erudite debate on the existence and identification of mercy, of its relationship with justice, and its structural connections to law and to politics. The central questions seem to be: What is mercy? What is it for? Do we need it? Can we use it? Who can use it? When? Why? Some negative questions are also raised: Can we misuse it? Is it just another exercise of power? Most of these queries, it seems to me, are also relevant to law, but are located in the often under-explored recesses of jurisprudence. This concern notwithstanding, I would like to offer my own thoughts on the phenomenon of mercy, its meaning, its utility, and what it can tell us about law itself.

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