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Fuller's: "The Case of the Speluncean Explorers"

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I am writing a 15-20 page paper covering this case. I need help identifying all of the philosophical issues (NOT LEGAL ASPECTS) concerning this case. For instance, I do not need case precedents named in defense of each Justice's conclusion on whether or not the party is guilty, citations of laws that say a party is guilty or not, etc. An example of a philosophical argument that I am looking for would be utilitarianism; for example, a number of people killing and eating another in this specific situation would yield the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people involved, and so on. I do not need you to explain in great detail, just tell me what to keep in mind as I am writing this so I don't miss anything.

An example of what I need from you would be: "Look at Justice X regarding utilitarianism." That's all I need. I want at least five different philosophical issues to explain, and if you tell me what Justices to look at regarding each issue that would be fantastic.

Please do not explain any more than you need to, but PLEASE be clear. I just wish to make sure everything is covered and makes sense. Most likely I will have already covered everything, but I wish to be very thorough with this paper; if you have any books I should be looking at, by all means please list them. This paper is due in approximately 2 weeks, but I have other major projects to do and would like to finish it as soon as I can. This interesting case is an easy read, and is not particularly long.

Here is the link to the case: http://www.nullapoena.de/stud/explorers.html.

Thank you for this assistance.

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Solution Summary

Referring to Fuller's "The Case of the Speluncean Explorers" (Phil. of Law), this solution analyzes each judge's decision based on one ethical/philosophical approach (e.g. utilitarian, natural law theory, etc.).

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Speluncean Explorers: Role of Judges

What should be the function of the judge in a modern democracy? Discuss, with the different positions adopted by the judges in the case of the Speluncean Explorers.

The Case of the 'Speluncean Explorers' is an article by legal philosopher Lon Luvois Fuller that was published in 1949. It presents a legal philosophy offering five possible solutions in the form of judicial opinions that are attributed to judges sitting on the fictional 'Supreme Court of Newgarth' in the year 4300.

In this hypothetical case, Roger Whetmore is cannibalized by his cave-exploring companions. The survivors are convicted of violating a law making it a crime that one 'willfully take the life of another', notwithstanding their defense of necessity. The explorers were trapped in a cave and would have died but for the sustenance of Roger Whetmore.

The article offers five possible judicial responses. Each differs in its reasoning and on whether the survivors should be found guilty of breaching the law. An evenly divided Supreme Court of Newgarth affirms the convictions.

Voting to affirm, Justice Keen follows the plain meaning of the statute and refuses to consider the equitable defense of necessity, while Chief Justice Truepenny urges the Chief Executive to grant clemency based upon the defense.Voting to reverse, Justice Foster argues that neither the understandings of common society nor the purpose of the statute is served by conviction, while Justice Handy votes to reverse as well, relying on virtual consensus in popular opinion. Anguished Justice Tatting - the potential tiebreaker - recuses himself because he cannot choose among the various arguments.

As the Court's decision is a tie, the original convictions are upheld and the men are sentenced to death.

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