Has Raz Drawn the Semantic Sting?
Law and Philosophy, Vol. 28, No, 3, p. 291
Posted: 5 Nov 2009 Last revised: 8 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 4, 2009
This article examines Joseph Raz's response to Ronald Dworkin's ‘semantic sting’ argument against legal positivism. In his response, Raz defends a ‘criterial’ approach to conceptual explanation. I argue that this approach can account for some theoretical disagreements about law, but cannot account for the theoretical disagreements Dworkin discusses in Law's Empire. For this reason, Raz's response is unsuccessful. I then contend that Raz's discussion of another aspect of Dworkin's work suggests an alternative objection to the semantic sting argument, and consider how Dworkin might respond to this alternative objection.
Keywords: Law and Philosophy, Legal philosophy, Raz, Dworkin, semantic sting argument
JEL Classification: K00, K4, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation