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Dworkin Versus Hart Revisited: The Challenge Of Non-Lexical Determination, Mitchell N. Berman Jun 2022

Dworkin Versus Hart Revisited: The Challenge Of Non-Lexical Determination, Mitchell N. Berman

All Faculty Scholarship

A fundamental task for legal philosophy is to explain what makes it the case that the law has the content that it does. Anti-positivists say that moral norms play an ineliminable role in the determination of legal content, while positivists say that they play no role, or only a contingent one. Increasingly, scholars report finding the debate stale. This article hopes to freshen it by, ironically, revisiting what might be thought its opening round: Dworkin’s challenge to Hartian positivism leveled in The Model of Rules I. It argues that the underappreciated significance of Dworkin’s distinction between rules and principles is …


Legal Positivism As A Theory Of Law’S Existence: A Comment On Margaret Martin’S "Judging Positivism", Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora Sep 2021

Legal Positivism As A Theory Of Law’S Existence: A Comment On Margaret Martin’S "Judging Positivism", Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora

Journal Articles

This comment critically examines the conception of legal positivism that informs Margaret Martin’s interesting and multilayered challenge against the substance and method of this intellectual tradition. My central claim is that her characterization of the substantive theory of legal positivism sets aside a more fundamental and explanatory prior dimension concerning the positivist’s theory of the existence of legal systems and legal norms. I also argue that her understanding of the positivist’s descriptive methodology as a nonnormative project is too demanding and overlooks both the relationships between law and morality recognized by contemporary legal positivists and the pivotal distinction between internal …