The Antinomy of Coherence and Determinacy

William A. Edmundson

Georgia State University College of Law

Iowa Law Review, Vol. 82, ppl. 1-20, 1996

Coherence and determinacy are both apparent desiderata for bodies of law and legal systems. Unfortunately, in legal systems of any complexity, increasing the degree of one invariably brings about a lessening of the other. For theories of law - such as Ronald Dworkin's - that emphasize the importance of coherence in judicial reasoning, while requiring as a condition of legitimacy that legal rights pre-exist judicial decisions, this must be an unwelcome fact.

Keywords: coherence, determinacy, legitimacy, Ronald Dworkin, Benjamin Cardozo, Louis Brandeis, MacPherson v. Buick, Prosser

JEL Classification: K00

Accepted Paper Series

Not Available For Download

Date posted: June 18, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Edmundson, William A., The Antinomy of Coherence and Determinacy. Iowa Law Review, Vol. 82, ppl. 1-20, 1996. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1147403

Contact Information

William A. Edmundson (Contact Author)
Georgia State University College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 4037
Urban Life Building, Room 402 140 Decatur Street
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States
404-413-9167 (Phone)
404-413-9225 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://law.gsu.edu/wedmundson/
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