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Jurisprudence

Legal positivism

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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 …


The Place Of Force In General Jurisprudence, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski Jan 2015

The Place Of Force In General Jurisprudence, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski

Journal Articles

This essay reviews Frederick Schauer’s book, The Force of Law (2015). Schauer argues that coercion is central to legal practice and should be no less important in legal theory. In doing so, Schauer presents formidable challenges to standard versions of legal positivism—and does so from within the positivist framework. Much of Schauer’s criticism on that score is sound. His analysis of the role coercion can play in accomplishing law’s moral tasks is also welcome and important. Nevertheless, Schauer’s jurisprudential framework comes up short in its inability to distinguish law from other social practices that also use force. The Force of …


Some Reasons For A Restoration Of Natural Law Jurisprudence, Charles E. Rice Jan 1989

Some Reasons For A Restoration Of Natural Law Jurisprudence, Charles E. Rice

Journal Articles

The growing influence of utilitarianism and legal positivism in American jurisprudence today and the decline of natural law have produced an ominous shift in the foundation of our legal system. This shift is illustrated by various courts' approaches to momentous legal issues of the Twentieth Century such as abortion and euthanasia. Ultimately, legal positivism is unacceptable as a jurisprudential framework because it provides no inherent limits on the power of the state and no basis for determining what is just. In contrast, the natural law provides a jurisprudential framework that both guides and limits the civil law. It therefore is …


The Straw Man Of Legal Positivism, Thomas F. Broden Jan 1959

The Straw Man Of Legal Positivism, Thomas F. Broden

Journal Articles

The typical view of many lawyers, philosophers, theologians and other thoughtful persons toward a so-called school of jurisprudence generally known as legal positivism is one of condemnation. According to this typical view legal positivism is a well developed philosophy of law the main tenets of which are that might makes right and that law and state sovereignty are absolute and not subject to independent moral evaluation. Needless to say this assumed jurisprudential view is roundly indicted, deplored and declaimed against with vigor and venom. We are warned that legal positivists are insidious termites threatening the very foundation of our law, …