The idea for this book grew out of various seminars, discussions and debates at Oxford University during a lecture visit in 1991 and visiting fellowships at Corpus Christi and University Colleges, Oxford, in 1992. I am grateful to the fellows of both colleges--especially Peter Cane, Martin Matthews, and Jane Stapleton of Balliol, for their instrumental roles in arranging these visits. As I was first formulating the nature and scope of the collection, Stephen Shute and Peter Cane provided important preliminary advice that helped to shape the contours of the volume. John Finnis, Joseph Raz, and Stephen Smith were gracious in letting me participate in their seminar on the Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law, which generated ideas that contributed to the project, as did discussions with John Davies, Ronald Dworkin, John Gardner, Tony Honoré, Bernard Rudden, Simon Whittaker, and with Raymond Pfeiffer and Albert Calsamiglia, also visitors at Oxford.
The project could not have moved forward without the early support and advice of John Finnis and Peter Birks. Nor would the volume ever have amounted to more than an academic pipedream if Richard Hart had not been so enthusiastic in his support for the enterprise at its inception, and without his creative problem-solving as it moved along. Although precluded from participating more directly because of his own book project, Ernest Weinrib contributed encouragement and advice from start to finish. Richard Epstein and George Fletcher also provided input along the way, and I am grateful to them for their work. Richard Wright offered counsel on various aspects of the project in its early stages, and I am grateful for his time. I thought about inviting Pat Hubbard to participate in some manner in the creation of this collection but chose instead to invite him to use the volume in his seminar.
John Montgomery, mixing roles as law-school dean and friend, provided indispensable support in many ways. I am in debt to him, and to the University of South Carolina School of Law, for furnishing the necessary resources, including time, to complete this venture. The law library staffs at Oxford and the University of South Carolina lent valuable assistance, especially Barbara Tearle, at the former, and Mary McCormick, at the latter.
The bulk of the technical editorial work has fallen to my student assistants, Frances Barnes, Stephanie Johnston, Victoria Miller, Stephen Samuels, and Shahin Vafai, all of whom devoted long hours to assure the technical quality of the essays. Victoria Miller helped organize the