The Legal Philosophy of Ingemar Hedenius
A TREATISE OF LEGAL PHILOSOPHY AND GENERAL JURISPRUDENCE, Vol. 11.2, Enrico Pattaro, ed., Springer, 2009
10 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2009 Last revised: 18 Oct 2009
Date Written: July 6, 2009
The Scandinavian Realist, Ingemar Hedenius (1908-1982), was professor of practical philosophy at Uppsala University 1947-1973 as well as a prolific and controversial contributor to the public debate in the 1940’s through the 1960’s. His critique of Christianity, in particular, caused quite a stir. Although Hedenius was primarily a moral philosopher, he also treated legal-philosophical questions now and then, and it is these contributions that have earned him a place among the Scandinavian realists. But unlike better-known realists like Alf Ross and Karl Olivecrona, Hedenius, who wrote almost exclusively in Swedish, did not put forward a comprehensive legal philosophy. He did, however, introduce into legal thinking a distinction between internal and external legal statements (Section 2), and put forward a 'realistic' (or sociological) analysis of the concept of a valid legal rule (Section 3) and an ideal-type analysis of the concept of ownership (Section 4). He also analyzed the concept of a performative and discussed its relevance to legal thinking (Section 5).
Keywords: Scandinavian realism, internal legal statements, predictive analysis, legal validity, ownership, performatives
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