Free-Floating from Reality

19 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2008 Last revised: 9 Oct 2009

See all articles by Dan Priel

Dan Priel

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School


The paper considers Matthew Kramer's notion of free-floating norms as a way of defending inclusive legal positivism. I argue first that there are numerous counterexamples to Kramer's approach. I then go on to argue that Kramer's approach represents a prevalent, yet mistaken, approach in contemporary legal philosophy of trying to answer empirical questions by conceptual arguments. I conclude that this approach should be abandoned.

Keywords: inclusive legal positivism, legal positivism, jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Priel, Dan, Free-Floating from Reality. Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Dan Priel (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

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