© 2014

A Critical Appraisal of Karl Olivecrona's Legal Philosophy


Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 108)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Torben Spaak
    Pages 1-16
  3. Background

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Torben Spaak
      Pages 19-33
  4. Philosophical Foundations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 69-69
    2. Torben Spaak
      Pages 71-85
    3. Torben Spaak
      Pages 87-108
  5. Substantive Legal Philosophy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 109-109
    2. Torben Spaak
      Pages 111-125
    3. Torben Spaak
      Pages 127-140
    4. Torben Spaak
      Pages 141-155
    5. Torben Spaak
      Pages 157-180
    6. Torben Spaak
      Pages 181-193
    7. Torben Spaak
      Pages 195-205
    8. Torben Spaak
      Pages 207-215
  6. The History of Legal Philosophy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 217-217
  7. Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 239-239

About this book


This book offers a critical appraisal of Karl Olivecrona’s legal philosophy. Based on Olivecrona’s critique of the view that law has binding force, the analysis of the concept and function of a legal rule, and the idea that law is a matter of organized force, the book argues that Olivecrona’s legal philosophy is a unique contribution to twentieth century legal philosophy. It shows how Olivecrona’s philosophy can be used in the assessment of contemporary theories of law, such as those put forward by Hart, Raz, Dworkin, and Alexy. In addition, the book argues that Olivecrona’s various discussions of theories defended by key people in the history of legal and political philosophy are highly interesting contributions. They not only increase our understanding of the legal and political philosophy of previous generations, but also enhances our insight into legal-philosophical questions that remain with us today. ​


Axel Hägerström and Alf Ross Binding Force of Law Concept of a Right Critique of Will Theories Early Medieval Swedish Law H. L. A. Hart History of Legal Philosophy Hägerström, Lundstedt, Ross, and Olivecrona Judicial Law-Making Karl Olivecrona Law, Force, and Social Morality Legal Realism and Legal Positivism Legal Rules as Independent Imperatives Natural Law Theory and Legal Positivism Naturalism and Conceptual Analysis Politics and Legal Philosophy Problem of the Nature of Law Scandinavian realism Substantive Legal Philosophy Systemic Character of Law Truth and Correctness

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LawStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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