Defending the Possibility of a Neutral Functional Theory of Law

36 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2009 Last revised: 14 Nov 2015

Kenneth M. Ehrenberg

University of Alabama - Department of Philosophy; University of Alabama - School of Law

Date Written: Spring 2009

Abstract

I argue that there is methodological space for a functional explanation of the nature of law that does not commit the theorist to a view about the value of that function for society, nor whether law is the best means of accomplishing it. A functional explanation will nonetheless provide a conceptual framework for a better understanding of the nature of law. First I examine the proper role for function in a theory of law and then argue for the possibility of a neutral functional theory, addressing issues raised by Leslie Green, Stephen Perry, Michael Moore and John Finnis.

Suggested Citation

Ehrenberg, Kenneth M., Defending the Possibility of a Neutral Functional Theory of Law (Spring 2009). Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 91-113, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1359514 or http://dx.doi.org/gqp001

Kenneth M. Ehrenberg (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - Department of Philosophy ( email )

PO Box 870218
336 ten Hoor Hall
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0218
United States

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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