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2006

Public Law and Legal Theory

Public Law and Legal Theory

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Lawyers, Citizens, And The Internal Point Of View, W. Bradley Wendel Dec 2006

Lawyers, Citizens, And The Internal Point Of View, W. Bradley Wendel

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Imagine two citizens, one of whom obeys the law only in order to avoid being sanctioned for noncompliance, the other of whom looks to the law for guidance, and regards legal directives as legitimate reasons for action in themselves. These two hypothetical citizens represent Oliver Wendell Holmes' metaphorical bad man and H.L.A. Hart's puzzled man, respectively. Both citizens take the law into account in their practical reasoning, but they are concerned with very different kinds of reasons created by law. Hart argues that the bad citizen's point of view is inadequate to capture the law's distinctive normativity. In response, some …