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Arts and Humanities

Recognition

2022

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The Role Of Recognition In Kelsen's Account Of Legal Obligation And Political Duty, David Ingram Sep 2022

The Role Of Recognition In Kelsen's Account Of Legal Obligation And Political Duty, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

Kelsen’s critique of absolute sovereignty famously appeals to a basic norm of international recognition. However, in his discussion of legal obligation, generally speaking, he notoriously rejects mutual recognition as having any normative consequence. I argue that this apparent contradiction in Kelsen's estimate regarding the normative force of recognition is resolved in his dynamic account of the democratic generation of law. Democracy is embedded within a modern political ethos that obligates legal subjects to recognize each other along four dimensions: as contractors whose mutually beneficial cooperation measures esteem by fair standards of contribution; as autonomous agents endowed with equal rights; as …