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Between Natural Law and Legal Positivism: Dworkin and Hegel on Legal Theory

48 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2009 Last revised: 5 Jan 2015

Thom Brooks

Durham University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 27, 2009


In this article, I argue that - despite the absence of any clear influence of one theory on the other - the legal theories of Dworkin and Hegel share several similar and, at times, unique positions that join them together within a distinctive school of legal theory, sharing a middle position between natural law and legal positivism. In addition, each theory can help the other in addressing certain internal difficulties. By recognizing both Hegel and Dworkin as proponents of a position lying in between natural law and legal positivist jurisprudence, we can gain clarity in why their general legal theories seem to fit uncomfortably, if indeed they can be said to fit at all, within so many different camps - while fitting comfortably in no particular camp - as well as highlight what has been overlooked.

Keywords: Dworkin, Hegel, Brooks, legal positivism, natural law, jurisprudence, legal theory, philosophy of law, Raz, philosophy, between, natualism, positivism

JEL Classification: K0, K10, K14, K19, K30, K39, K40, K42, K49

Suggested Citation

Brooks, Thom, Between Natural Law and Legal Positivism: Dworkin and Hegel on Legal Theory (February 27, 2009). Georgia State University Law Review, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 513-560, 2007. Available at SSRN:

Thom Brooks (Contact Author)

Durham University ( email )

Durham Law School
Durham University
Durham, County Durham DH1 3ET
United Kingdom
+441913344365 (Phone)


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