Eminent Legal Philosophers

Andrew Stumpff Morrison

University of Michigan Law School; University of Alabama Law School

December 22, 2013

U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 382

The article presents a critical reassessment of the legal philosophical writings of Ronald Dworkin and Joseph Raz. Relying in part upon the author’s previous argument (“Law is the Command of the Sovereign: H.L.A. Hart Reconsidered,” forthcoming 2016, Ratio Juris) that law is – contra the recent near-consensus – best understood as “the command of the sovereign, backed by force,” the author identifies fundamental difficulties, and ultimately incoherency, in these two authors’ work. The author concludes by identifying structural problems with the legal academy which permit and even encourage the unchallenged maintenance of doctrinal fallacies.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: H.L.A. Hart, Ronald Dworkin, Joseph Raz, jurisprudence, coercion, positivism, coercive model, John Austin, Jeremy Bentham, Oliver Wendell Holmes, gunman, command theory, definition of state, definition of sovereign, game theory, Interpretivism, service conception, internal perspective

JEL Classification: K10, K33, K42, C7, H1

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Date posted: December 23, 2013 ; Last revised: June 3, 2016

Suggested Citation

Morrison, Andrew Stumpff, Eminent Legal Philosophers (December 22, 2013). U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 382. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2371076 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2371076

Contact Information

Andrew Stumpff Morrison (Contact Author)
University of Michigan Law School ( email )
625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

University of Alabama Law School
101 Paul W. Bryant Dr.
Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States
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