Legal Reductionism and Freedom

  • Martin Van Hees

Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 47)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Introduction

    1. Martin Van Hees
      Pages 1-5
  3. Legal Reductionism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Martin Van Hees
      Pages 9-25
    3. Martin Van Hees
      Pages 27-43
    4. Martin Van Hees
      Pages 45-60
  4. Legal Reductionism Applied: The Analysis of Legal Freedom

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 85-85
    2. Martin Van Hees
      Pages 87-103
    3. Martin Van Hees
      Pages 105-124
    4. Martin Van Hees
      Pages 125-150
    5. Martin Van Hees
      Pages 151-175
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 177-192

About this book


Martin van Hees presents a new approach to the study of law - legal reductionism - which combines elements of legal positivism, new institutionalism and decision theory. From legal positivism Van Hees derives some fundamental insights into the nature of legal systems, but he also revises some of its key tenets. He argues that law can be reduced to facts; moreover, he re-establishes the relation between law and morality by arguing that law and positive morality are inherently related. He subsequently uses decision-theoretic tools to develop and defend his reductionist methodology.
The second part of the study applies the resulting approach to an analysis of legal freedom. By showing that legal reductionism allows us to analyse the value of liberal legal systems, Van Hees makes a forceful case for including the study of law in moral and political philosophy.
The book is accessible to a wide readership, including legal and moral philosophers, political theorists and social scientists.


freedom legal positivism morality philosophy political philosophy positivism

Authors and affiliations

  • Martin Van Hees
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GroningenThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4020-0285-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-9453-5
  • Series Print ISSN 1572-4395
  • Series Online ISSN 2215-0315
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors