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Mercy, Particularity, and the Map from the Void

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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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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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  • Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, edited by authorisation of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR), is an international, peer-reviewed journal, first published in 1907. It features original articles on philosophical research on legal and social questions, covering all aspects of social and legal life.
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