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: K00Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 18, 2008
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