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My Philosophy of Law: The Institutionalisation of Reason

  • Robert Alexy
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 41)

Abstract

Every philosophy of law is implicitly or explicitly an expression of a concept of law. All concepts of law derive from the interpretation and weighing of three elements: (1) due enactment, (2) social efficacy, and (3) substantial correctness1. Somebody who solely concentrates on due enactment and social efficacy, not giving any weight to substantial correctness in a defmition of law advocates a positivist concept of law. Hans Kelsen’s theory is an example for such a concept. His famous sentence “Therefore, any content whatever can be law”2 expresses this clearly. The most extreme antipode to legal positivism is held by those who define the law exclusively by its substantial correctness. Such a pure notion of natural law is not interesting for somebody who wants to recognise, follow, interpret, and apply the valid law. The decisive question concerning the adequacy of a concept of law is therefore not whether substantial correctness rather than due enactment and social efficacy should define the law, but instead whether substantial correctness should do so in addition.

Keywords

Deliberative Democracy Judicial Decision Legal Argumentation Legal Discourse Legal Certainty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Bibliographical Information

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Alexy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KielGermany

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