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Last edited by Peter Suber
December 14, 2010 | History

The Case of the Speluncean Explorers: Nine New Opinions 3 editions

Cover of: The Case of the Speluncean Explorers by Peter Suber
About the Book

The book is built on the greatest fictitious legal case of all time, Lon Fuller's "The Case of the Speluncean Explorers," Harvard Law Review, vol. 62, no. 4 (1949) pp. 616-645. Four spelunkers (cave-explorers) in the Commonwealth of Newgarth were trapped in a cave by a landslide. After eating their limited stores of food, and approaching death by starvation, they made radio contact with the rescue team, which estimated that the rescue would take another 10 days. The men described their physical condition to physicians and asked whether they could survive another 10 days without food. The physicians thought that very unlikely. Then the spelunkers asked whether they could survive another 10 days if they killed and ate a member of their party. The physicians reluctantly answer that they could. Finally, the men asked whether they ought to kill and eat a member of their party, selected by lottery. No one at the rescue camp was willing to answer this question. The men turn off their radio, and some time later held a lottery, killed the loser, and ate him. They were eventually rescued and prosecuted for murder, which in Newgarth carries a mandatory death penalty. Are they guilty? Should they be executed?

Fuller wrote five Supreme Court opinions on the case, exploring the facts from the perspectives of profoundly different legal principles. The result is a focused and concrete illustration of the range of Anglo-American legal philosophy at mid-century. Suber's nine new opinions bring this picture up to date with our own more diverse and turbulent jurisprudence half a century later.

The book presupposes no knowledge of law or philosophy of law, and should be a painless, even enjoyable introduction to legal philosophy.

More detail here.

Classifications

Library of Congress K230.F842 S8 1998
Dewey 340/.1

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3 editions

Edition Read Borrow Buy
Cover of: Dong xue qi an de shi si zhong pan jue
2006, Shang wu yin shu guan (Xianggang) you xian gong si
Dong xue qi an de shi si zhong pan jue
in Chinese
Cover of: The case of the speluncean explorers
1998, Routledge
The case of the speluncean explorers
in English
Cover of: Dong xue qi an
2007, Shang wu yin shu guan (Xianggang) you xian gong si
Dong xue qi an
in Chinese - 880-02 Di 1 ban.

History Created December 9, 2009 · 6 revisions
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December 14, 2010 Edited by Peter Suber added the subtitle
December 14, 2010 Edited by Peter Suber revised the description
December 14, 2010 Edited by Peter Suber Added a description.
April 28, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Linked existing covers to the work.
December 9, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page