Human Thriving and the Law

  • Charles Foster
  • Jonathan Herring

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Law book series (BRIEFSLAW)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring
    Pages 1-22
  3. Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring
    Pages 23-42
  4. Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring
    Pages 43-55
  5. Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring
    Pages 57-67
  6. Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring
    Pages 69-86
  7. Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring
    Pages 87-87

About this book


The idea of the Good Life – of what constitutes human thriving, is, implicitly, the foundation and justification of the law. The law exists to hold societies together; to hold in tension the rights of individuals as against individuals, the rights of individuals as against various types of non-humans such as corporations (and vice versa), and the rights of individuals individuals as against the state (and vice versa). In democratic states, laws inhibit some freedoms in the name of greater, or more desirable freedoms. The only justification for law is surely that it tends to promote human thriving.

But what is the Good Life? What does it mean to live a thriving life? There has been no want of discussion, at least since the great Athenians. But surprisingly, since human thriving is its sole raison d’etre, the law has been slow to contribute to the conversation.

This book aims to start and facilitate this conversation.

It aims to:

-make lawyers ask: ‘What is the law for?’, and conclude that it is to maximise human thriving

-make lawyers ask: ‘But what does human thriving mean?’

-make judges and advocates ask: ‘How can a judgment about the best interests of a patient be satisfactory unless its basis is made clear?’


Flourishing Dignity Altruism Relationship Rights Individual freedom Legal intervention Medical law Health law Health rights Well-being Good life Resource allocation Vulnerability Autonomy

Authors and affiliations

  • Charles Foster
    • 1
  • Jonathan Herring
    • 2
  1. 1.Green Templeton CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Exeter CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Law and Criminology Law and Criminology (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-01134-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-01135-2
  • Series Print ISSN 2192-855X
  • Series Online ISSN 2192-8568
  • Buy this book on publisher's site