Francesca Poggi & Alessandro Capone (eds.), Pragmatics and Law: Practical and Theoretical Perspectives, 195-221 (Springer Verlag 2017); ISBN 978-3-319-44601-1
31 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2017 Last revised: 12 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 6, 2017
In this essay, I describe a puzzle concerning Hart’s theory of internal legal statements and the internal point of view from which such statements are made. The puzzle is tied to a commonly assumed requirement for an adequate theory of law (the Requirement, for short). According to the Requirement, a theory of law must explain why participants in legal practices should justify their decisions by appeal to legal norms, rather than pointing solely to how practice-independent norms, such as morality and prudence, are triggered by social facts about legal practices. Theories of law that are dissimilar in other respects — such as Scott Shapiro’s planning theory, Ronald Dworkin’s interpretive theory, and Hans Kelsen’s pure theory — all satisfy the Requirement. The American legal realists’ prediction theory of law does not.
Keywords: H.L.A. Hart; internal legal statements; internal point of view; Ronald Dworkin; Scott Shapiro; Hans Kelsen; legal norms
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Green, Michael S, A Puzzle About Hart's Theory of Internal Legal Statements (January 6, 2017). Francesca Poggi & Alessandro Capone (eds.), Pragmatics and Law: Practical and Theoretical Perspectives, 195-221 (Springer Verlag 2017); ISBN 978-3-319-44601-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2894968