Marie Newhouse is a lecturer in law, philosophy, and public policy at the University of Surrey. Her research focuses on legal philosophy, especially Kantian accounts of legal obligation and the nature of criminal wrongdoing. She also does U.S. constitutional analysis related to executive power and the First Amendment. She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Washington, a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law, and a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University. Dr. Newhouse has recently appeared on BBC News, BBC World News, and BBC Breakfast as a legal analyst in connection with the U.S. travel ban litigation.
Kantian legal philosophy, legal obligation, theories of criminalization
Director, Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy
UK Kant Society, North American Kant Society
Selected Media Appearances
BBC Breakfast, 8 February 2017 (discussing the 9th Circuit oral argument in the US litigation: Washington v Trump) Watch
BBC News, 10 February 2017 (discussing the 9th Circuit opinion in the US litigation: Washington v Trump)
BBC World News, 10 February 2017 (discussing the 9th Circuit opinion in the US litigation: Washington v Trump)
Contact the press team
Phone: +44 (0)1483 684380 / 688914 / 684378
Out-of-hours: +44 (0)7773 479911
Senate House, University of Surrey
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
M. E. Newhouse, ‘Juridical Law as a Categorical Imperative’, in Ruhi Demiray & Alice Pinheiro Walla (eds), Reason, Rights and Law: New Essays on Kantian Philosophy, (University of Wales Press 2018). (forthcoming)
M. E. Newhouse, 'In Defense of Liberal Equality', 9(1-2) Public Reason (2017): 97-108. (forthcoming)
M. E. Newhouse, ‘Institutional Corruption: A Fiduciary Theory’, 23(3) Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy (2014): 553-594. (link)
would choose to adopt a system of democratic equality governed by his two principles of
justice. However, Rawls mistakenly defines the possibility space within which individuals in
his original position must make their choice. An alternative account of the possibility space
created by Rawls?s original position reveals that a system of liberal equality, according to which
distributive shares would be determined by market processes, would be preferred by risk-averse
individuals. However, such individuals would guard against the erosion of the social bases of
self-respect by including a social safety net among the basic equal liberties secured by Rawls?s
first principle of justice.
In Kant?s moral and political writings, laws of freedom are called moral laws. There are two types of moral law. As directed merely to external actions and their conformity to law they are juridical laws; but if they also require that they (the laws) themselves be the determining grounds of actions, they are ethical laws? (6:214).ii Kant also writes: ?For us, whose choice is sensibly affected and so does not of itself conform to the pure will but often opposes it, moral laws are imperatives (commands or prohibitions) and indeed categorical (unconditional) imperatives? (6:221). I understand Kant to mean that moral laws are, by definition, unconditional practical laws, which are therefore categorical imperatives for imperfectly rational beings like us.iii This raises a very broad question: how it can be the case that a juridical law is a categorical imperative? Most of this chapter will focus on a somewhat narrower question: how can a statute passed by a legislative body generate an unconditional rational requirement for us to obey?
The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that juridical lawsiv enacted by legislators are categorical imperatives, and that the external incentives that the state links to its legal commands play a critical role in making them so. I will argue that statutory commands must be categorical imperatives if they are to establish juridical laws, and that statutes that fail to establish juridical laws do not obligate us to obey their terms.
Marie Newhouse, ‘Kant’s Typo, and the Limits of the Law’, dissertation, Harvard University (2013). (link)
Marie Gryphon [Newhouse], ‘Assessing the Effects of a “Loser Pays” Rule on the American Legal System: An Economic Analysis and Proposal for Reform,’ 8 Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy (2011): 567-613. (link)
Marie Gryphon [Newhouse], 'The Better Part of Lenity', 7 Journal of Law, Economics & Policy (2011): 717-724. (link)