Positively Positivism

36 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 1999

See all articles by Brian Bix

Brian Bix

University of Minnesota Law School


Anthony Sebok's book, Legal Positivism in American Jurisprudence (1998) offers novel and interesting claims about the connection between constitutional theory and legal theory, in the course of telling the history of each in America during this century. The book is at its best in analyzing Legal Process, an approach to law that has been overlooked or discounted in recent years. Sebok brings new ideas and new research to his detailed discussion of that school of thought. The book is less successful in its most controversial claims, attempting to tie the Legal Positivism of John Austin and H.L.A. Hart with both Legal Formalism and Legal Process. The argument goes wrong by conflating conceptual theories of law with theories of adjudication.

Suggested Citation

Bix, Brian, Positively Positivism. Virginia Law Review, Vol. 85, pp. 889-923, August 1999, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=190368

Brian Bix (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-624-2505 (Phone)
612-625-2011 (Fax)

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