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27 - Michel Villey

(1914–1988)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2019

Olivier Descamps
Affiliation:
Pantheon-Assas University, Paris
Rafael Domingo
Affiliation:
Emory University, Atlanta
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Summary

The greatest exponent of French philosophy of law in the later twentieth century, Michel Villey's methodological and substantial references were Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas, the two pillars of scholastic thought. Villey adhered fully to the scholastic dialectic, in which the analysis of legal phenomena is based on the dialogue of the different positions in question and on seeking the circumstantial reasons justifying the legal rules. Villey therefore rejected a legal epistemology forged on the exact sciences; rather he assumed a method in which it is the evolution of things that gives meaning to law and justice. The consequence is a severe criticism of legalism and legal formalism, as well as an idealization of Roman law, seen as the legal system in which jurisprudence was able, on a case-by-case basis, to identify the solution of justice for an individual specific case. This flexible conception of law leads Villey to a virulent critique of the rhetoric on natural law, human rights, and subjective rights, by which individualism and formalism triumph, and betraying the dialectical spirit that alone is able to guarantee substantial justice among human beings.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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References

Recommended Reading

Arnaud, André-Jean, edn. “Michel Villey, vingt ans déjà!Droit et societé 1, no. 71 (2009): monographic number.Google Scholar
Association française de philosophie du droit. Droit, nature, histoire: IVe Colloque de l’Association Française de Philosophie du Droit (Université de Paris II, 23–24 Nov. 1984): Michel Villey, philosophe du droit. Marseilles: Presses Universitaires d’Aix-Marseille, 1985.Google Scholar
Bastit, Michel. “Villey et Perelman: argumentation avec ou sans ontologie?Droit & philosophie 8 (2016): 7589.Google Scholar
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Brett, Annabel S. Liberty, Right and Nature: Individual Rights in Later Scholastic Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
Campagna, Norbert. Michel Villey. Le droit ou les droits? Paris: Michalon, 2004.Google Scholar
Campagna, Norbert. “Michel Villey: Die Zugeständnisse eines anti-modernen Rechtsphilosophen an die Moderne.” Archiven für Rechts und Sozialphilosophie 87 (2001): 1630.Google Scholar
Delsol, Chanatal, and Bauzon, Stéphane, eds. Michel Villey: le juste partage. Paris: Dalloz, 2007.Google Scholar
Dubouchet, Paul. Critique du droit chez Michel Villey et René Girard. Pour une épistémologie négative. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2016.Google Scholar
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Rials, Stéphane. Villey et les idole: petite introduction à la philosophie du droit de Michel Villey. Paris: PUF, 1999.Google Scholar
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Tierney, Brian. “Villey, Ockham, and the Origin of Natural Rights.” In The Weightier Matters of Law: Essays on Law and Religion, edited by Witte, John Jr., and Alexander, Frank S., 13. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1988.Google Scholar
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Works of Michel Villey Quoted

“Deux conceptions du droit naturel dans l’antiquité.” Revue d’histoire du droit français et étranger 31 (1953): 475–97.Google Scholar
“Du sens de l’expression jus in re en droit romain classique.” Revue internationale des droits de l’antiquité 3 (1949): 417–36.Google Scholar
“La promotion de la loi et du droit subjectif dans la Seconde Scolastique.” In La Seconda Scolastica nella formazione del diritto privato moderno, edited by Paolo Grossi, 53–71. Milano: Giuffré, 1973.Google Scholar
Le droit dans les choses.” In Controverses autour de l’ontologie du droit, edited by Paul Amselek and Christophe Grzegorczyk. Paris: PUF, 1989.Google Scholar
“Nouvelle rhétorique et droit naturel.” Logique et analyse 19, no. 73 (1976): 3–24.Google Scholar
“Sur la politique de Jacques Maritain (à propos de Gregorio Peces Barba, Persona, sociedad, estado. Pensamiento social y político de Maritain, Madrid, Edicusa, 1972).” Archives de philosophie du droit 19 (1974): 439–45.Google Scholar
Polémique sur les Droits de l’Homme.” Etudes philosophiques 2 (1986): 191–98.Google Scholar
La croisade. Essai sur la formation d’une théorie juridique. L’Église et l’État au Moyen Âge 6. Paris: Vrin, 1942.Google Scholar
La formation de la pensée juridique moderne. 2nd edn. Paris: PUF, 2003.Google Scholar
Le ‘jus in re’ du droit romain classique au droit moderne. Suivi des fragments pour un dictionnaire du langage des glossateurs. Paris: Recueil Sirey, 1950.Google Scholar
Le droit et les droits de l’homme. Paris: PUF, 1983.Google Scholar
Le droit romain. Que sais-je? 195. Paris: PUF, 1945.Google Scholar
Le positivisme juridique moderne et le Christianisme. Milan: Giuffré, 1984.Google Scholar
Philosophie du droit. Paris: Dalloz, 2001.Google Scholar
Questions de Saint Thomas sur le droit et la politique. Paris: PUF, 1987.Google Scholar
Recherches sur littérature didactique du droit romain (À propos d’un texte de Cicéron “De Oratore” 1 – 188 à 190). Paris: Montchrestien, 1945.Google Scholar
Réflexions sur la philosophie et le droit. Les Carnets. Posthumous edition prepared by M.-A. Frison-roche and C. Jamin; preface by B. Kriegel and F. Terré. Paris: PUF, 1995.Google Scholar

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